CAR’s work focuses on new solutions for dealing with demographic change and exploring alternative regeneration strategies.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the shrinking cities phenomenon is widespread in many parts of the world. Towns and cities are experiencing massive change – for example, manufacturing towns have lost their economic base and are struggling to find new ways to attract and retain young people.
Dealing with the results of demographic, economic and physical contraction and planning for a future with smaller but liveable and sustainable cities is one of the most challenging tasks for urban planners.
CAR has been working on projects that attempt to manage and direct this urban change. The research builds on work funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), and by the European Commission. We have devised a range of tools and an approach to facilitation that brings together the various stakeholders to explore alternative regeneration strategies.
Change and contraction is accompanied by unemployment and a failing housing market that can often create a climate of fear and distrust. Our approach is to help stakeholders find areas of agreement and consensus that can unlock barriers and provide a way forward. We focus on solutions for dealing with demographic change and the design and restructuring of shrinking. Significant benefits at a regional and national level are envisaged, resulting in a common approach and exemplary regeneration.