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Abstract: Deindustrialization and demographic change have resulted in an increasing number of cities confronted with population decline in Poland. Although the potential of expansion is restricted for most cities under these circumstances, urban planning is dominated by a quantitative growth paradigm. In a first step, this case study confirms the orientation towards growth in two shrinking cities in Poland – the former mining town of Wałbrzych and the still active mining town of Ruda Śląska. In a second step, the research project aims at analyzing influence factors underlying the orientation towards growth in urban planning. Regional socio-political and cultural specificities based on a history of socialist urbanization have a share. Inter-urban competition and national planning guidelines as well as European Union directives for financial support also play a role. Such an identification of growth-drivers is a necessary step towards paving the way for sustainable urban restructuring concepts in shrinking cities in the future.
Narrative Step: Facing the current crisis: critique & resistance
Keywords: shrinking cities; urban planning; deindustrialization; demographic change