Urban Shrinkage in Eastern Germany

32 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2015

See all articles by Florian W. Bartholomae

Florian W. Bartholomae

Munich Business School; University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München

Chang Woon Nam

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Ifo Institute, Germany; University of Applied Management (UAM)

Alina Schoenberg

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München

Date Written: February 26, 2015

Abstract

This paper questions the widely applied parallelism of demographic and economic development in characterizing urban shrinkage in Germany, and argues that the usage of population change as a single indicator leads to incorrect policy recommendations for combating urban shrinkage. As the cases of several Ruhr cities (Essen, Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund) and East German cities (Erfurt, Rostock and Magdeburg) prove, urban economic growth can also be achieved thanks to the substantial presence of modern industries and business services, and despite declines in population size. The serious shrinkage of Halle, Cottbus and Schwerin is primarily due to failures in the post-industrial transformation process. Recent policy measures strongly oriented towards slowing the downsizing process of population (via urban regeneration measures to hinder suburbanisation and low core urban density) do not address this major problem effectively. More active industrial policy measures are required in these East German shrinking cities to create a competitive manufacturing sector (endowed with new high-tech firms) and to boost its growth interdependence with modern local services.

Keywords: urban shrinkage, East Germany, post-industrial transformation, parallelism of demographic and economic development, smart growth, modern industries and services

JEL Classification: P250, O140, O380, R110, H760

Suggested Citation

Bartholomae, Florian W. and Nam, Chang Woon and Schoenberg, Alina, Urban Shrinkage in Eastern Germany (February 26, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5200, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573575

Florian W. Bartholomae

Munich Business School ( email )

Elsenheimerstraße 61
Munich, Bavaria 80687
Germany

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg
Munich, 85579
Germany

Chang Woon Nam (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Ifo Institute, Germany

Munich
Germany

University of Applied Management (UAM) ( email )

Am Bahnhof 2
Erding, 85435
Germany

Alina Schoenberg

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg
Germany

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