2.30 - RE-CITY ITN

Project Description

Processes of shrinkage are multidimensional phenomena encompassing cities, parts of cities, or regions that are experiencing a dramatic decline in their economic and social bases. While the causal factors are diverse and complex, the most evident factor in shrinkage is a loss of employment opportunities and out-migration of population. Previous research by the beneficiaries has pointed out that decline is enduring, and shrinkage is most probably jeopardizing the prosperity of European competitiveness. Moreover, experts, who are specifically trained in leadership and management of shrinkage processes, are in short supply throughout Europe.

Through this RE-CITY ETN, new approaches and success factors for shrinking cities will be explored and evaluated. RE-CITY provides a perspective for the robust and sustainably sound development of shrinking cities, while supporting elements of economic prosperity, liveability, social stability and innovation. This ETN will develop novel solutions for shrinking cities, and investigate case studies approaches for dealing with shrinking cities in terms of four innovative key themes: conceptualising shrinking smart, governing, greening/right-sizing, and regrowing shrinking cities. On this basis RE-CITY applications will be developed: a tangible framework of tools and methods including planning instruments.

The RE-CITY ETN aims at training highly skilled experts for the four key themes of shrinking cities noted above, enabling them to act as leaders, mediators, and consultants of change while fostering innovative solutions and perspectives for these areas. These aims will be achieved by a structured training programme to provide expertise to multidisciplanary RE-CITY professionals by means of key scientific skills targeted to the requirements of shrinking cities, and to establish a long-lasting training programme with pioneer solutions for shrinking cities.

Research Team


  • Isabel Breda-Vázquez
  • Paulo Pinho
  • Paulo Conceição


  • Beneficiaries: Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK – leading partner), Cambridge Architectural Research, École Normale Supérieure Paris, Spatial Foresight, TU Dortmund University, University of Amsterdam, University of Porto, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan and University of Guadalajara.
  • Other participants: Helmholtz -Zentrum fur Unweltforsch, Kent State University, Stichting Nederlands Expertise-en Innovatiecentrum, Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Nomura Research Institute, FRESH Völklingen GMBH.
Financial Support
  • EU Horizon 2020, Marie-Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) ITN
Time Frame
  • Concluded in 2022