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Growth and Shrinkage in Germany - Trends, Perspectives and Challenges for Spatial Planning and Development

Author(s): Bernhard Müller | Stefan Siedentop

Journal: German Journal of Urban Studies
ISSN 1861-0145

Volume: 43 (2004);
Issue: I;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Demographic change has become a major topic for German municipalities as more and more communities in East and West Germany embark on a "stagnation or decline path" in the coming 20 years. Not only will large-scale shifts take place but growing and shrinking communities will exist side by side within heavily built-up regions. The trend towards suburbanisation and dispersion in the 1990s will weaken without sustained reurbanisation. This requires rethinking on the part of municipalities and regional planners. Growth-oriented approaches must be paralleled by a "decline paradigm." The region will become a more important spatial platform for the efficiency-oriented adjustment of settlement structures and the development of integrated regional adjustment strategies.
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