Shrinking of Industrial Cities

In the beginning of the 21st century, industries are more mobile than ever. Factories moving effortlessly between countries have set another trend in urbanism: the shrinking of industrial cities. This trend put all the thinking about the city on its head. The issue of abundant, irrelevant space replaced the problem of the constant scarcity of schools, flats or hospitals. Instead of masterminding ways of accommodating new people into a city, the urban planners beat their heads against the problem of how to keep remaining urban dwellers from leaving.

De-industrialization of the Russian cities came in at the same time as social and demographic changes brought by the sudden collapse of the USSR. Half a century ago, they were thriving hubs of industrial life; today Russian cities are centers of urban decay and population ageing. But does their future have to be grim? Instead of becoming epicenters of depression and decay, shrinking Russian industrial cities can re-organize their life around the needs of the elderly. In this project we try to imagine one of the shrinking Russian cities, redesigned for the new demographic situation. Meet Kineshma, the city re-thought for the elderly.
Cover image: wilsonrichard.com