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Shrinkage of old industrial cities and the mitigation of its negative effects

Emilia Jaroszewska

Abstract

The main research problem of this dissertation is the process of shrinkage of old industrial cities and the minimisation of its negative effects. This work seeks to achieve three aims, i.e. (1) the presentation of the most important theoretical concepts explaining the nature of regressive processes affecting urban shrinkage, (2) the identification and analysis of the scale, causes and effects of the shrinking process in the international, national and local context, including the explanation of the shrinking process mechanism, with special attention to the local level on the example of an old industrial city – Wałbrzych, (3) the analysis of different strategies to cope with negative effects in selected old industrial European and American cities, together with an attempt to determine their possible application in Poland. The paper is based on a literature review, a set of secondary source materials (published and unpublished) and primary ones. An important source of information is the international materials of the CIRES project and the qualitative data received during the interviews with local representatives of different social, scientific, economic institutions and administration. In the research mixed methods are used (quantitative and qualitative). The results of the research carried out in the dissertation prove that the process of shrinkage concerns more and more cities in the entire world, mostly old industrial cities in the United States of America and Europe, especially in its east-central part. Using the example of the USA (including an in-depth analysis of Detroit) and European case studies of Dessau, Porto, St. Étienne and the Ruhr district, the international context of the process of urban shrinkage is presented. In turn, the national context involves (1) the analysis of shrinkage in the demographic aspect made for 2,948 units, including 829 cities (rural communes and cities in urban-rural communes) and 2,119 rural areas (rural communes and rural areas in urban-rural communes) and (2) the classification of cities in Poland in terms of their demographic situation, labour market and living conditions (carried out for 279 cities) and its relation to the shrinking process. The local context of the shrinkage of an old industrial city is presented on the example of Wałbrzych. As it is shown in this case, a great number of both internal and external factors influence the process of shrinkage. It should be emphasised, however, that the causes closely related to its individual, industrial path of development are of particular importance for this city. The analysis of various strategies, implemented in the shrinking cities presented in this work shows that main emphasis is put on qualitative development, the adaptation and reduction of existing infrastructure and the development of recreational areas. The use of the industrial heritage is a significant element of the strategy, including the formation of new, creative spaces. To sum up, it can be assumed that the strategies adopted in shrinking cities should consist of complex actions, involving three areas: ‘hard’, ‘soft’ and image-related and that the necessary condition for the implementation of effective strategies is the change in the perception of urban shrinkage, which should be viewed in the light of opportunities and possible changes in the development path followed so far.
Record ID
UAM46b510f96ffa4b199c21b8152d9a5412
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Title in Polish
Kurczenie się (shrinkage) starych miast przemysłowych i przeciwdziałanie jego negatywnym skutkom
Title in English
Shrinkage of old industrial cities and the mitigation of its negative effects
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences (FoGaGS) [Not active]
Scientific discipline (2.0)
6.7 Earth and related environmental sciences
Status
Finished
Year of creation
2018
Defense Date
09-02-2018
Title date
09-02-2018
Supervisor
Pages
243
Keywords in English
shrinking cities, industrial cities, urban revitalization, urban policy
Abstract in English
The main research problem of this dissertation is the process of shrinkage of old industrial cities and the minimisation of its negative effects. This work seeks to achieve three aims, i.e. (1) the presentation of the most important theoretical concepts explaining the nature of regressive processes affecting urban shrinkage, (2) the identification and analysis of the scale, causes and effects of the shrinking process in the international, national and local context, including the explanation of the shrinking process mechanism, with special attention to the local level on the example of an old industrial city – Wałbrzych, (3) the analysis of different strategies to cope with negative effects in selected old industrial European and American cities, together with an attempt to determine their possible application in Poland. The paper is based on a literature review, a set of secondary source materials (published and unpublished) and primary ones. An important source of information is the international materials of the CIRES project and the qualitative data received during the interviews with local representatives of different social, scientific, economic institutions and administration. In the research mixed methods are used (quantitative and qualitative). The results of the research carried out in the dissertation prove that the process of shrinkage concerns more and more cities in the entire world, mostly old industrial cities in the United States of America and Europe, especially in its east-central part. Using the example of the USA (including an in-depth analysis of Detroit) and European case studies of Dessau, Porto, St. Étienne and the Ruhr district, the international context of the process of urban shrinkage is presented. In turn, the national context involves (1) the analysis of shrinkage in the demographic aspect made for 2,948 units, including 829 cities (rural communes and cities in urban-rural communes) and 2,119 rural areas (rural communes and rural areas in urban-rural communes) and (2) the classification of cities in Poland in terms of their demographic situation, labour market and living conditions (carried out for 279 cities) and its relation to the shrinking process. The local context of the shrinkage of an old industrial city is presented on the example of Wałbrzych. As it is shown in this case, a great number of both internal and external factors influence the process of shrinkage. It should be emphasised, however, that the causes closely related to its individual, industrial path of development are of particular importance for this city. The analysis of various strategies, implemented in the shrinking cities presented in this work shows that main emphasis is put on qualitative development, the adaptation and reduction of existing infrastructure and the development of recreational areas. The use of the industrial heritage is a significant element of the strategy, including the formation of new, creative spaces. To sum up, it can be assumed that the strategies adopted in shrinking cities should consist of complex actions, involving three areas: ‘hard’, ‘soft’ and image-related and that the necessary condition for the implementation of effective strategies is the change in the perception of urban shrinkage, which should be viewed in the light of opportunities and possible changes in the development path followed so far.

Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAM46b510f96ffa4b199c21b8152d9a5412/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAM46b510f96ffa4b199c21b8152d9a5412

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