Demographic and economic aspects of urban shrinkage in Serbia - typology and regional differentiation

Danica Djurkin, Marija Antić, Aljoša Budović


Urban shrinkage is a process that many European countries have been facing in recent decades. It had started in highly developed regions at the time of deindustrialisation, but since the 1990s, this process has also affected Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, with different patterns and dynamics of urban shrinkage. The political and economic crisis in Serbia during the 1990s, as well as the transition from a centrally governed and urban-based industrialisation to a neoliberal market economy, has brought significant changes in the development of cities, which faced declining demographic and economic vitality. This paper is focused on the analysis of the intensity and dynamics of demographic and economic aspects of urban shrinkage in Serbia and on classification of cities according to the different phases of urban shrinkage. Typological classification was performed using the K-means clustering algorithm. The cluster analysis is based on the use of relevant demographic and socio-economic indicators, for the period from 2002 to 2011. After identifying cities that recorded an increase in total population and relatively stable economic development, three types of shrinking cities were determined according to the intensity of demographic and economic shrinkage - cities with low, medium and high shrinkage intensity. The analysis of the main patterns and factors that influenced the different levels of urban shrinkage enabled a better understanding of this phenomenon in Serbia. The results indicate the heterogeneity of urban space due to different levels of demographic and economic shrinkage, thus it can serve as a starting point for future research of uneven urban development in Serbia.

Key words: urban shrinkage, regional differentiation, typology, urban areas, Serbia

© 2021 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia


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