Proposals of European citizens for reviving the future of shrinking areas

Main Article Content

Flavio Besana

Abstract

Shrinkage, depopulation and the related structural decline threaten development trajectories of more than a quarter of European territories from the present until 2050. In April 2021, the European Commission has launched the Conference on the Future of Europe to involve citizens and players beyond the traditional actors in shaping future policy agendas. The initiative consists of a wide-scale citizen engagement policy offering them a digital framework to actively contribute to the most relevant debates from April to December 2021. Given that shrinkage is a neglected theme in traditional policy arenas, this article examines the proposals of European citizens for reviving the future of shrinking areas. Through content analysis, the article highlights a limited relative presence of shrinkage in the Conference debate. Nevertheless, the results offer insights into the thematic concentration and the affinity of shrinkage with the most popular policy debates. The article also discusses the content of citizens’ ideas for the future of shrinking areas, thus offering concrete proposals that may fuel the definition of future policy agendas.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Besana, F. (2021). Proposals of European citizens for reviving the future of shrinking areas. Quaestiones Geographicae, 40(4), 15-28. https://doi.org/10.2478/quageo-2021-0039
Section
Articles

References

  1. Barca F., Casavola P., Lucatelli S., 2014. A strategy for inner areas in Italy: Definition, objectives, tools and governance. Materiali Uval Series. Online: https://www.agenzia-coesione.gov.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MU-VAL_31_Aree_interne_ENG.pdf (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  2. Bernt M., Haase A., Großmann K., Cocks M., Couch C., Cortese C., Krzysztofik R., 2014. How does(n’t) urban shrinkage get onto the agenda? Experiences from Leipzig, Liverpool, Genoa and Bytom: Urban shrinkage on European policy agendas. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(5): 1749-1766. DOI 10.1111/1468-2427.12101.
  3. Besana F., Böhme K., 2020. The future of shrinking cities in the EU: Pathways 1991-2050. ERSA 2020 conference: Spatial challenges for the new world, ERSA. Online: https://ersa.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/ersaweb-conference2020/ersa2020/Agenda/AgendaItemDetail? id=811f8c45-0df1-9396-d292-39f0749ebabd (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  4. Bontje M., Musterd S., 2012. Understanding shrinkage in European regions. Built Environment 38(2): 153-161. DOI 10.2148/benv.38.2.153.
  5. Copus A., Kahila P., Fritsch M., Dax T., Katalin K., Gergely T., 2020. ESPON ESCAPE (European Shrinking Rural Areas: Challenges, Actions and Perspectives for Territorial Governance), Final Report. ESPON. Online: https://www. espon.eu/escape (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  6. Davoudi S., 2019. From ‘left behind’ to ‘kept behind’ places: Re-imagining territorial cohesion (Keynote speech). ESPON Seminar on the role of functional areas for territorial cohesion, Iași, Romania. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3799&v=9XgHhgZbA34 (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  7. ESPON, 2017. Shrinking rural regions in Europe: Towards smart and innovative approaches to regional development challenges in depopulating rural regions [Policy Brief]. Online: https://www.espon.eu/rural-shrinking (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  8. European Commission, 2020a. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the impact of demographic change ({SWD(2020) 109 final}).
  9. European Commission, 2020b. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. Shaping the conference on the future of Europe COM(2929) 27 final.
  10. European Commission, 2021. A long-term Vision for the EU’s Rural Areas—Towards stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas by 2040. COM(2021) 345 final. European Commission. Online: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/strategy/strategy_documents/documents/ltvra-c2021-345_en.pdf (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  11. European Commission. Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, 2020. The 2021 ageing report: Underlying assumptions and projection methodologies. Publications Office. Online: https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2765/733565 (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  12. European Parliament and Council, 2021. Regulation (EU) 2021/1058 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021 on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund. L 231/60. Official Journal of the European Union.
  13. Fischer F., Miller G.J. (eds), 2017. Handbook of public policy analysis: Theory, politics, and methods. Routledge, New York DOI 10.4324/9781315093192.
  14. Flick U. (ed.), 2014. The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis. SAGE Publications Ltd. London. ISBN 9781446208984
  15. Gibbs G.R., 2014. Using Software in Qualitative Analysis. In Flick U., The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis SAGE Publications Ltd. London: 277-294. DOI 10.4135/9781446282243.n19.
  16. Gløersen E., Drăgulin M., Hans S., Kaucic J., Schuh B., Keringer F., Celotti P., 2016. The impact of demographic change on European regions. European Union, Committee of the Regions. DOI 10.2863/26932.
  17. Großmann K., Bontje M., Haase A., Mykhnenko V., 2013. Shrinking cities: Notes for the further research agenda. Cities 35: 221-225. DOI 10.1016/j.cities.2013.07.007.
  18. Haase A., 2012. Shrinking areas front runners in innovative citizen participation. European Urban Knowledge Network. Haase A., Bernt M., Großmann K., Mykhnenko V., Rink D., 2016. Varieties of shrinkage in European cities. European Urban and Regional Studies 23(1): 86-102. DOI 10.1177/0969776413481985.
  19. Haase A., Rink D., Grossmann K., Bernt M., Mykhnenko V., 2014. Conceptualizing urban shrinkage. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 46(7): 1519-1534. DOI 10.1068/a46269.
  20. Hecker S., Wicke N., Haklay M., Bonn A., 2019. How does policy conceptualise citizen science? A Qualitative Content Analysis of International Policy Documents. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice 4(1): 32. DOI 10.5334/cstp.230.
  21. Hoekveld J.J., 2012. Time-space relations and the differences between shrinking regions. Built Environment 38(2): 179-195. DOI 10.2148/benv.38.2.179.
  22. Hollander J.B., Pallagst, K., Schwarz T., Popper F.J., 2009. Planning shrinking cities. Progress in Planning 72(4): 223-232.
  23. Hospers G.J., 2013. Coping with shrinkage in Europe’s cities and towns. Urban Design International 18(1): 78-89. DOI 10.1057/udi.2012.29.
  24. Howland D., Becker M.L., Prelli L.J., 2006. Merging content analysis and the policy sciences: A system to discern policy-specific trends from news media reports. Policy Sciences 39(3): 205-231. DOI 10.1007/s11077-006-9016-5.
  25. Krippendorff K., 2018. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (Fourth Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc; New York. ISBN: 978-1412983150.
  26. Pallagst K., 2010. Viewpoint: The planning research agenda: Shrinking cities – a challenge for planning cultures. Town Planning Review 81(5): i-vi. DOI 10.3828/tpr.2010.22.
  27. Pazos-Vidal S., 2021. Recognising demographically declining areas in EU Cohesion Policy: A case-study of multilevel coalition building. Regional Studies Association, Brighton. DOI 10.1080/13673882.2021.00001102.
  28. Prior L., 2014. Content analysis. In Leavy P. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 358-379. DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199811755.013.008.
  29. Rink D., Haase A., Bernt M., 2009. Specification of working model. Work package 1 of Shrink Smart: Governance of shrinkage in a European context. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig.
  30. Rodríguez-Pose A., 2018. The revenge of the places that don’t matter (and what to do about it). Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 11(1): 189-209. DOI 10.1093/cjres/rsx024.
  31. Rodríguez-Pose A., 2020. The rise of populism and the revenge of the places that don’t matter. LSE Public Policy Review 1(1): 4. DOI 10.31389/lseppr.4.
  32. Sarainsky N.G., 2015. Analyzing public discourse: Using media content analysis to understand the policy process. Columbia University 18(1): 26-41.
  33. Schreier M. 2014. Qualitative content analysis. In Flick U., The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis SAGE Publications Ltd, London: 170-183. DOI 10.4135/9781446282243. n12.
  34. SCiRN, 2008. COST action: Cities regrowing smaller. TU Dortmund.
  35. Snelson C.L., 2016. Qualitative and mixed methods social media research: A review of the literature. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 15(1): 160940691562457. DOI 10.1177/1609406915624574.
  36. Stryjakiewicz T., Jaroszewska E., 2016. The process of shrinkage as a challenge to urban governance. Quaestiones Geographicae 35(2): 27-37. DOI 10.1515/quageo-2016-0013.
  37. The Economist, 2017. Why Europe needs more migrants. Online: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/07/12/why-europe-needs-more-migrants (accessed: 27 September 2021).
  38. Venghaus S., Hake J.-F., 2018. Nexus thinking in current EU policies – The interdependencies among food, energy and water resources. Environmental Science & Policy 90: 183-192. DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.12.014.
  39. Verma I., Taegen J., 2019. Access to services in rural areas from the point of view of older population—A case study in Finland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(23): 4854. DOI 10.3390/ijerph16234854.
  40. Wiechmann T., 2009. What are the problems of shrinking cities? Lessons learned from an international comparison. In Pallagst K. (ed.), The future of shrinking cities: Problems, patterns and strategies of urban transformation in a global context. University of California.
  41. Wiechmann T., Wolff M., 2013. Urban shrinkage in a spatial perspective – Operationalization of Shrinking Cities in Europe 1990-2010. Conference Paper.
  42. Wolff M., Fol S., Roth H., Cunningham-Sabot E., 2017. Shrinking cities: Measuring the phenomenon in France. Cybergeo DOI 10.4000/cybergeo.28033.
  43. Wolff M., Wiechmann T., 2018. Urban growth and decline: Europe’s shrinking cities in a comparative perspective 1990-2010. European Urban and Regional Studies 25(2): 122-139. DOI 10.1177/0969776417694680.