SCiRN™ (The Shrinking Cities International Research Network) - About us

SCiRN’s mission

The Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN™) is a worldwide research consortium of scholars and experts from various institutions pursuing research on shrinking cities in a global context. SCiRN’s mission is to advance international understanding and promote scholarship about population decrease in urban regions and urban decline, causes, manifestations, spatial variations, and effectiveness of policies and planning interventions to stave off decline.

SCiRN™ was founded 2004 under the aegis of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at the University of California, Berkeley. Here, scholars from various countries realised that although the decline of cities and urban regions was a common issue for urban planners in different local contexts, there was little comparative research on this topic.

Today SCiRN™ comprises 30 members from 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, UK, and the USA) and a PhD Academy constituted of 14 young researchers (from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, UK and Taiwan).

The work being developed by the network since 2004 includes case studies of suburbs, cities, towns, and regions that are investigated through a common comparative framework. It aims to produce both theoretical and methodological tools for analysing Shrinking Cities in different national contexts. In the long run an important repository of data will be gathered through the development of an observatory of shrinking cities. The first results of the SCiRN™ have been presented every year to international conferences such as those organised by planning disciplines (AESOP in Vienna 2005; WPSC in Mexico 2006; ASCP-AESOP in Chicago 2008) or at specialised conferences organised by the network (Dresden in 2006; UC Berkeley in 2007). Internal workshops have been organized every year and research results have been published.

  Leipzig, Germany

SCiRN™ activities include:
  • exchange ideas, methods, resources and develop a strategic framework for discussion of the shrinking cities phenomenon,
  • disseminate research findings through publications, conferences, workshops,
  • network with institutions and other groups focused on similar topics,
  • provide policy analysis and advice on shrinking cities and regions.


St. Etienne, France