Study of Influencing Factors of Shrinking Cities Based On Factor Analysis – The Example of Halle, Germany
City shrinkage is one of the thorny problems that many
European cities have to face with nowadays. It is mainly expressed as
the decrease of population in these cities. Eastern Germany is one of
the pioneers of European shrinking cities with long shrinking history.
The paper selects one representative shrinking city Halle (Saale) in
eastern Germany as research objective, collecting and investigating
nearly 20 years (1993-2010) municipal data after the reunification of
Germany. These data based on five dimensions, which are
demographic, economic, social, spatial and environmental and total 16
eligible variables. Factor Analysis is used to deal with these variables
in order to assess the most important factors affecting shrinking Halle.
The results show that there are three main factors determine the
shrinkage of Halle, respectively named “demographical and
economical factor”, “social stability factor”, and “city vitality factor”.
The three factors act at different time period of Halle’s shrinkage: from
1993 to 1997 the demographical and economical factor played an
important role; from 1997 to 2004 the social stability factor is
significant to city shrinkage; since 2005 city vitality factor determines
the shrinkage of Halle. In recent years, the shrinkage in Halle mitigates
that shows the sign of growing population. Thus the city Halle should
focus on attaching more importance on the city vitality factor to
prevent the city from shrinkage. Meanwhile, the city should possess a
positive perspective to shift the growth-oriented development to tap
the potential of shrinking cities. This method is expected to apply to
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