Mitigating Climate Change

Part of the series Springer Environmental Science and Engineering pp 45-57


Resource-Centered Cities and the Opportunity of Shrinkage

  • Katleen De FlanderAffiliated withInstitute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) Email author 

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Our planet is being anthroposized at high speed with Climate Change and other global environmental damages as its consequence. As home of most consumers, many are looking at cities for solutions. Urban densification is often seen as ‘the’ way towards more urban sustainability. However, externalities of urban consumption and the complexity of the urban system are mostly left out of consideration, leading to unexpected results. This chapter advocates a transition from consumption-centered to resource-centered cities. In an age of rapid urbanization, this chapter further argues how shrinking cities could unexpectedly function as catalysts for change. A shrinking population and a retreat of the current economic system give shrinking cities the potential for becoming front-running resource-centered cities.


Resource-centered Complex systems Transition Shrinking cities Closed cycles