Change of Thought: Findings on Planning for Shrinkage from a Regional Design Competition

Annet Kempenaar, Marjo van Lierop, Judith Westerink, Arnold van der Valk, Adri van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Shrinkage or ‘no growth’ is expected to condition the long-term perspective of many Western cities and regions. Planning for shrinkage differs substantively from planning for growth and therefore calls for a change of thought in spatial planning. In our paper, we analyse how planning professionals responded to a ‘planning for shrinkage’ challenge in a regional design competition. We found that they fully adapted to the shrinking perspective, took a strategic approach, and promoted a leading role for local inhabitants. Collaboration with local inhabitants and entrepreneurs, creating new alliances, and timing emerge as key themes for planning professionals in planning for shrinkage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2016
Externally publishedYes


  • design competition
  • process design
  • regional design
  • shrinkage
  • strategic spatial planning

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