UPD Talk: Reurbanisation and Suburbia in North West Europe: Empirical Evidence and Governance Challenges



  • Date: MAY 15, 2019
  • Time: 13:00pm - 13:45pm
  • Venue: EB 415
  • Speaker: Sebastian Dembski, University of Liverpool


Following decades of urban decline there is now an abundance of literature pointing at reurbanisation, which has now also reached many secondary cities, including in post-industrialised regions. Reurbanisation is an umbrella concept involving several related but distinct processes. In its most basic form it refers to the population turnaround of the urban core, a process which has started as early as the 1970s in some cities and has subsequently expanded. However, it is noticeable that suburbia is absent from the discussion of reurbanisation. This is all the more surprising since part and parcel of most definitions of reurbanisation is the relationship between the core and the ring (Van den Berg et al., 1982, Kabisch et al., 2010). This research seeks to fill this gap, looking at four highly developed countries in North West Europe from a comparative perspective: England, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Far from being uniform, reurbanisation differs substantially between the countries in terms of temporal and spatial patterns in both the urban core and suburbia. This also means that policy responses in these countries differ.


Sebastian Dembski
University of Liverpool

Sebastian is lecturer in Planning (Civic Design) in the department of Geography and Planning of Liverpool University. Previously he worked as a postdoc researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he also obtained his PhD in spatial planning. Having grown up in Germany, he studied Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund University in the Ruhr.

His research concentrates on planning issues of urban transformation in city regions from an institutional perspective.