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Re-urbanisation in the United States and Germany. A comparative study of driving forces and spatial patterns of re-urbanisation processes in Portland, OR (USA) and Stuttgart (Germany)
Client:DFG (German Research Foundation)
Partner(s):Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (Prof Dr-Ing. Stefan Siedentop); Stuttgart University, Institute of Urban Planning and Design (Prof Dr Johann Jessen)
Time frame:10/2012 – 09/2015

This research project focuses on comparing processes of re-urbanisation of major cities in Germany and the US. Comparison will take place on two levels: On the national level, comparative statistical analysis of the structural change in the conurbations of both countries will be conducted for the time period of 1980 to 2010, based on US census data and on German municipal statistics. For five metropolitan areas in Germany and nine metropolitan areas in the US, population development and other data will be examined in more detail. The sample will include the metropolitan areas of Portland, OR and Stuttgart.

On regional and local level, small-scale spatial characteristics of re-urbanisation and their causes are examined for two case studies. A spatially disaggregated analysis of re-urbanisation in Portland und Stuttgart will be conducted to identify which and how urban neighborhoods have contributed to the process of re-urbanisation, and what physical and social changes they have experienced along the way. The contextual analysis of small-scale population changes is expected to provide valuable insights into the possible causes of re-urbanisation processes.

Additionally urban policies promoting re-urbanisation in Portland and Stuttgart will be examined. A particular focus lies on strategies and development projects for selected inner city areas that were particularly affected by re-urbanisation, for example due to large urban transformation projects. The results are expected to shed light on both successfully planned effects and undesirable side effects that regional and local policies may have had on re-urbanisation.

An important guiding question of our research is whether processes of re-urbanisation are predominantly market driven or – intentionally or unintentionally – result from local and regional policies. The project is understood as an empirical contribution to comparative international urban research. It pursues two goals: 1. Generating hypotheses that allow for a well-founded social and spatial differentiation of re-urbanisation and its driving forces. 2. Providing a solid theoretical background for the current debate on convergence/divergence of European and American urban development and urban policy.

Journal papers (peer-reviewed)

Book sections (peer-reviewed)

  • Siedentop, Stefan (2018): Reurbanisierung. In: Rink, Dieter; Haase, Annegret (Hrsg.): Handbuch Stadtkonzepte. Leverkusen: Verlag Barbara Budrich (im Erscheinen).
  • Jessen, Johann; Siedentop, Stefan (2018): Reurbanisierung. In: ARL (Hrsg.): Handwörterbuch der Raumordnung. Hannover: ARL (im Erscheinen).
  • Siedentop, Stefan (2015): Suburbane Räume unter Anpassungsdruck – ein deutsch-amerikanischer Vergleich. In: Jessen, Johann; Roost, Frank (Hrsg.): Refitting Suburbia. Erneuerung der Stadt des 20. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland und den USA. Berlin, S. 23–43.
  • Brombach, Karoline; Fricke, Axel; Jessen, Johann (2015): Kommunale Strategien im Vergleich. Urbanes Wohnen in Stuttgart, Mannheim und Freiburg. In Fricke, Axel; Siedentop, Stefan; Zakrzewski, Philipp (Hrsg.): Reurbanisierung in baden-württembergischen Stadtregionen. Hannover: ARL, S. 118-170.
  • Jessen, Johann; Siedentop, Stefan; Zakrzewski, Philipp (2012): Rezentralisierung der Stadtentwicklung? Kleinräumige Analyse des Wanderungsgeschehens in deutschen Großstädten. In: Brake, Klaus; Herfert, Günter (Hrsg.): Reurbanisierung. Materialität und Diskurs in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, S. 198-215.

Conference papers and other publikations

  • Brombach, Karoline; Jessen, Johann; Zakrzewski, Philipp (2014): Reurbanization in metropolitan regions in the US and Germany – comparing apples and oranges? Paper presented at AESOP Annual Congress in Utrecht, Netherlands, 12.07.2014.
  • Siedentop, Stefan; Osterhage, Frank; Stroms, Peter (2017): Wachsende Städte, junge Quartiere – Alterssegregation durch Reurbanisierung? Dortmund = ILS-TRENDS 2/17.
  • Brombach, Karoline; Jessen, Johann (2017): Reburbanisierung in der Region Stuttgart. In: Simon-Philipp, Christina (Hg.): WohnOrte2. 90 Wohnquartiere in Stuttgart von 1890 bis 201. Entwicklungen und Perspektiven. Stuttgart 2017, S. 358-361.

Project leader:
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Siedentop

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