Shrinking Cities Research Café: Extracting comparative lessons from shrinking city case studies from North America and Europe

Separate from the AESOP/ACSP Conference and events, the Metropolitan Institute co-hosted a Shrinking Cities Research Café.  This was an informal gathering of scholars with the goal of engaging in cross disciplinary discussions about how to improve and enhance the art of comparative case studies from Europe and the United States shrinking cities as a way to illuminate the complexities of developing and implementing strategies for managing the impacts and influences of urban shrinkage. They hope to identify insights and lessons on how to make trans-Atlantic comparative work more accessible to scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. Through a series of short case study snapshots, the gathering will: 1) identify common themes among the case studies; 2) create a list of emerging strategies and practices that are coming from the body of case study work; 3) develop a list of ideas on how to ensure better translation of case study research–translation across continents, across disciplines and between policymakers and practitioners.  Other hosts included:  Brookings Center for Community Progress; Wayne State University; University of Pittsburgh; and Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig/Germany.

Currently in the works are plans to compile the notes taken during the discussions into the final proceedings that will be made into a special report from the Metropolitan Institute and the VPRN.

Based on the proceedings, the MI and VPRN intend to publish a more thoughtful article.  They have also been approached by a journal to do a special edition publication based on the papers presented at Dublin conference and will develop a proposal/prospectus in the next few weeks, with the goal of soliciting first among those who participated in the conference and then opening it up to a wider number of scholars.  The goal is to have selected the authors by November so the authors would have 3 months to submit their finished articles to the journal.