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COST Action 803 »Cities Regrowing Smaller« (CIRES)

At the beginning of the 21st century, the shrinking cities phenomenon is widespread in Europe. To deal with the results of demographic, economic and physical contraction processes and to plan for the future of considerably smaller but nevertheless livable cities is one of the most challenging tasks for urban Europe in the near future.
Against this background, the Action aims at fostering knowledge on regeneration strategies in shrinking cities across Europe. By promoting the exchange of scientific knowledge and the stimulation of new ideas in selected reference cities, the gender-balanced network with proposers from ten countries will act as a catalyst for new solutions to deal with demographic changes and to design the restructuring of shrinking cities in Europe.
Significant benefits at the European level are envisaged, resulting in a common framework of terminology and synopsis of published research in this field, exemplary regeneration strategies and a best practice database.



Objectives and Benefits:

The main objective of the Action is to foster the interdisciplinary knowledge of Regeneration Strategies in Shrinking Cities across Europe.


At a strategic level, the network will::

  • provide a forum for the discussion of successful regeneration strategies in shrinking cities, establishing a frame of common action facing the multiple challenges around shrinking cities,
  • improve the knowledge basis for targeted policy actions by the EU or its Member States,
  • lay foundations for future corresponding EU research initiatives,
  • foster the questioning of traditional paradigms of urban development in view of the demographic and economic challenges in European cities.


At an operational level, the network will:

  • devise a conceptual framework (incl. a common terminology) to describe and analyze issues of shrinking cities,
  • survey and review the existing studies on regeneration strategies in shrinking cities in Europe and elsewhere,
  • assess the level and nature of selected approaches to regenerate shrinking cities,
  • provide on-site advice to end-users of the completed research in selected shrinking cities,
  • offer a 'best practice' database on regeneration strategies,
  • provide access for young researchers to a highly innovative debate.


Memorandum of Understanding


Project Homepage: Action Web Site

Project Leader / Action Chair: Prof. Thorsten Wiechmann

Staff: Prof. Thorsten Wiechmann, Ingo Neumann (TU-Dresden), Manuel Wolff (TU-Dresden)

Sponsor: COST Programm

Contact: (TU-Dresden)

Duration: 12/2008 bis 09/2013


SCAN - Agentur fuer Markt- und Gesellschaftsanalytik (AU)
Institut für Analytische Struckturentwicklungsplanung (AU)
University of Western Sydney, Urban Research Centre (AUS)
University of Liege 2 (BE)
Yellow z urbanism architecture (CH)
Synergo Mobilität - Politik - Raum (CH)
ETH Zürich, Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur (CH)
>Transport Research Centre (CZ)
Technische Universität Dresden (D)
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau (D)
Aalborg University, Department of Architecture and Design (DK)
Spanish National Research Council (ESP)
Institute for Advanced Social Studies Córdoba (ESP)
Université Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne (FR)
Université Rennes 2 - Haute Bretagne (FR)
Université Blaise Pascal (FR)
University of Thessaly (GR)
Dublin Institute of Technology (IE)
University of Bologna - Ravenna Centre (I)
University Polytechnic of Bari (I)
University of Malta (MT)
University of Lodz (PL)
University of Amsterdam (NL)
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań (PL)
CITTA - Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, University of Porto (P)
Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (PT)
CIEO , University of Algarve (PT)
Urban PLanning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SI)
Comenius University Bratislava (SK)
Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd (UK)
University of Nottingham, School of Geography (UK)
Tartu University (EE)
University of Joensuu (FI)
University of Belgrade (RS)
Izmir Institute of Technology (TU)
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas IESA-Campo (ESP)
Higher Institute of Architectural SciencesUniversity Colleges Antwerpen (NL)