This study proposes a smart decline theory for old New Town with declining populations, focusing on the concept of System of Systems Engineering. The old New Town is a planned and large-scale suburban residential area for high-income workers. In old New Town, there were many detached houses with gardens. The method contrasts paradigms, models, theories, and cases in binary opposition. The results of this study are used to propose a smart decline theory based on the five following factors. (1) The stakeholder collaborates with residents’ associations in the neighborhood, local businesses, the government, and universities. (2) The objective and purpose are to provide various community services related to daily life such as welfare, health, food, and housing. (3) The priority is residents’ spirit of “leaving no one behind”. (4) The process is diverse, and asynchronous processes are conducted autonomously by stakeholders in line with their spirit. (5) The resources are vacancies in the neighborhood, such as vacant houses and stores, that have not been fully utilized at present. These factors of smart decline are important and this study clarifies them. The smart decline theory contributes to urban designs for designing shrinking cities.

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