Mark your calendars for June 15, 2023, from 12-1 pm EST and join CSU for our next Green Cities Event of 2023, a book talk on Smaller Cities In A Shrinking World: Finding A Sustainable Future Against The Odds with author Alan Mallach, and moderated by Nicholas Hamilton, CSU Secretary and President-Elect.  The event will be held on Zoom.

Get 30% off the book “Smaller Cities in a Shrinking World” with the discount code “WEBINAR.” from

The next few decades will be difficult times for cities. With population and economic growth slowing down and populations aging, global trade and supply chains faltering, and increasing damage from climate change and geopolitical conflicts, cities – particularly the smaller cities of America, Europe and East Asia – will have to struggle to stay afloat. Can ‘networked localism’ foster collaboration, resilience, and sustainability? 

Event Recording

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Join us on our Green Cities event on Thursday, June 15, to hear Alan Mallach, author of Smaller Cities in a Shrinking World: Learning to Thrive Without Growth, speak about the challenges to sustainability that smaller cities can expect to come their way, as they face severe environmental, social and economic pressures from population loss, aging and declining fiscal resources. Mr. Mallach will also explain why customary models of economic development are no longer the answer, but are increasingly becoming zero-sum propositions that do little for most cities’ prospects. 

He believes, however, that cities have an extraordinary opportunity to reshape their futures, and will outline a new model for local economies that he refers to as ‘networked localism’ to replace today’s globalized, unsustainable growth model.

Read Governing Magazine’s recent coverage of Smaller Cities in a Shrinking World: Learning to Thrive Without Growth

The talk and discussion will explore how this new model would work, and offer examples of how cities can rethink their natural and built environments, use technology to build localized economies and energy systems, and form partnerships between government, business, and community to overcome the barriers to building a sustainable future.

Change is inevitable. The question is can we adapt to change, and find a new way to make our cities work for their people?


Learning Objectives (including for those submitting self reported continuing education credits)

  1. Understand the challenges and opportunities for cities as growth slows and begins to decline.
  2. Explore alternatives to the “growth model” for economic and urban vitality. 
  3. Acquire practical strategies and innovative approaches to building greener economies and urban areas.
  4. Consider if ‘networked localism’ could be an effective approach to foster resilience and sustainability.
Alan Mallach

Alan Mallach

Alan Mallach is the author of The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America, and a well-known writer and thinker on cities and neighborhoods. A senior fellow with the Center for Community Progress in Washington DC, he has worked at the Brookings Institution and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, taught at Rutgers University and Stockton State University, lectured at universities in the United States, Europe, Japan, China and Israel, and served as director of housing & economic development for the city of Trenton, New Jersey. His new book is Smaller Cities in a Shrinking World: Learning to Thrive Without Growth, which explores the prospects for small cities in a world of climate change and declining population and economic growth, and outlines a path forward for cities facing the daunting challenges of an uncertain future. He is also an accomplished pianist and author of two well-received books on 19th century Italian opera. He holds a B.A. degree from Yale College and has lived for the past forty years in Roosevelt, New Jersey.

Governing Magazine’s recent coverage of Smaller Cities in a Shrinking World: Learning to Thrive Without Growth

See also interview of Alan Mallach by Diana Lind on her Substack: First and Foremost


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