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Empirical research on planning cultures in shrinking cities and urban regions as represented by open space-, living space- and retail space development
Client:DFG (German Research Foundation)
Partner(s):Ruhr-Universität Bochum/ Institute of Geography; Leibniz Universität Hannover/ Institute of Environmental Planning
Time frame:08/2016 – 07/2018

This project aims at creating theoretically and empirically grounded answers to the question of how local and regional planning cultures change in the transition of a growth-orientated to a planning that adapts to multidimensional shrinking processes. Taking into consideration development pathways and administrative-hierarchical multilevel relations, the institutional worlds’ complex interrelations of a formal planning system on one hand and informal discourse and action context on the other hand shall be analysed.

For this purpose the planning cultural configurations and dynamics on the communal and urban regional level of four cities (Gelsenkirchen, Saarbrücken, Halle/Saale and Chemnitz) will be compared, relying on a stakeholder- and institutional theory-based model of analysis.

The comparison aims at contrasting three spheres/aspects:

Firstly, the aspects of open space-, living space- and retail space-development will be focussed, expecting new insights into the sectoral variations of planning cultural change. The ILS focuses on questions of open space development.

Secondly, in choosing case studies from the old and new federal states the project encompasses possible implications of diverging planning cultural development paths as well as different economic and demographic frame conditions of shrinking processes.

Thirdly, two case studies with a similar shrinking history each within the old and new federal states are to be analysed comparatively to show the differences in adaption strategies which are based on the respective particular local and regional planning cultures.


Project leader:
  • Dr. Mario Reimer

Project team:

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