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Article summary:

1. Urban shrinkage is a common phenomenon in European cities, with almost 42% of large cities currently experiencing population decline. Eastern Europe has the highest number of shrinking cities, with three out of four reporting a decrease in population.

2. The causes of urban shrinkage are diverse and numerous, making it a complex phenomenon to understand. A considerable and constant loss of population classifies an urban area as a shrinking city. The article explores the various causes and consequences of urban shrinkage in the European Union and beyond.

3. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation for urban shrinkage, and a process-oriented approach is needed to understand its dynamics. The article presents an original process model that brings together the causes, impacts, and dynamics of urban shrinkage within the context of locally based urban trajectories.

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