Deindustrialization and urban shrinkage. Achieving urban sustainability in former industrial cities in France: the case studies of Nantes and Saint-Ouen

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Population decline in former industrial cities is an undeniable fact and preparing to respond to it is a necessity. In my research urban sustainability is defined as a process to recover from social and economic recession which are usually linked to deindustrialization. The main goal is to survey how Nantes and Saint-Ouen became resilient after the period of deindustrialization and if they have the needed capacities of urban sustainability in dealing with population decline. The research method is descriptive-analytic. The descriptive method is used in order to define urban sustainability and relate it to previous studies in shrinking cities. The analytic method is used in order to identify the reasons that led to the population decline and the correlations between sustainable urban development and demographic evolution. The performed analyses included a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The outcome revealed that the two cities have reached the goal of sustainable urban development as they almost doubled their population since 2000. The final conclusion is that the urban policies implemented by local authorities as long as the economic decisions taken by local enterprises can assist Nantes and Saint-Ouen inhabitants to encounter to social and economic recession resulting from deindustrialization.
Planning for Transition – book of proceedings 31; 2
shrinking city, population decline, sustainable urban development, urban resilience
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