‘Smart shrinkage’ expert to speak on challenges of declining cities March 28 at ISU


Jane Rongerude, Community & Regional Planning, (515) 294-5289, jrong@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, College of Design communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu

AMES, Iowa — Justin B. Hollander, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University, will discuss how urban development can be achieved in shrinking cities in a presentation March 28 at the Iowa State University College of Design.

His lecture, “From Boom to Bust: How Smart Shrinkage Can Help Formerly Growing Places Manage Decline,” will be at 3 p.m. in Room 130 of the Design building. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In recent years there has been a growing focus on addressing the challenges of shrinking cities. While the response to depopulation has almost always been to pursue growth policies to try to reverse that decline, the track record of such policies has been mixed at best. Hollander will present his research into the formerly booming cities of the Sunbelt and how they might learn some of the hard lessons of the Rustbelt about what shrinkage means.

Hollander will argue that growth for growth's sake is not beneficial for communities, suggesting instead that urban development could be achieved through shrinkage. He will offer case studies on Phoenix, Ariz.; Flint, Mich.; Orlando, Fla., and Fresno, Calif., to support the argument.

In addition to his faculty position at Tufts University, Hollander is a research scientist at the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University. From 2000 to 2006 he was a community planner for the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service. He is the author of over 50 publications, including three books and more than 20 journal articles. His most recent book is Sunburnt Cities: The Great Recession, Depopulation, and Urban Planning in the American Sunbelt (Routledge, 2011).

Hollander’s visit is sponsored by the ISU Community and Regional Planning Program.