Due to Corona pandemia the summer school has been cancelled by DAAD for 2020


DAAD – Go East International Summer School

Fate or chance? Development perspectives for shrinking cities and regions in the Baltic States

Apart from old industrialised and peripheral regions, which can be found in various parts of Europe, there have been particularly strong shrinking tendencies in the so-called transition countries of Eastern Central and Eastern Europe since the 1990s. In these countries, the collapse of the socialist

economic system at the beginning of the 1990s and the uncertainties surrounding the transition to market economy structures have led to a sharp decline in natural population growth and major outward migration. For the regions affected, a shrinking process has a variety of negative effects. For urban and regional development, the decline in population with all its consequences represents a considerable challenge.


Strategies for dealing with these challenges are also intensively discussed in the so-called transition countries of Eastern Central and Eastern Europe. The Baltic States offer a very good example of this. With the exception of the capital regions, the countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are characterised by a sharp decline in population. Against this background, the summer school deals with development perspectives in shrinking cities and regions in the Baltic States.

Target Group

Students of Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Cultural Studies.


Bachelor students must have completed at least four semesters of undergraduate study by the start of the summer school. Master students of all semesters are welcome.


No prior specific knowledge is required to participate in the summer school but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.


Course language is English.

Course aim

The participants of the summer school will be taught the theoretical foundations of current shrinking processes and they will be introduced to strategies and concepts of dealing with shrinkage. Own conceptual considerations and student research will be particularly stimulated. The summer school is designed as a wandering summer school. Starting from the university locations Klaipėda and Riga, which serve as the organisational basis, case studies will be analysed using the example of the Lithuanian region Zemaitija and the Latvian region Kurzeme, in the context of excursions and field studies.

Credits info

Participants will receive a certificate at the end of the summer school. The certficate will give prove of a work load of 4 ECTS.