This research investigates the possible offering of opportunities for sustainability in shrinkage areas. The phenomenon shrinkage is elaborated and its meaning for The Netherlands. The extent of the issue for Parkstad Limburg and Heerlen as a pioneer shows us the effects for the future. The interaction between shrinkage and sustainability and the current approach in Heerlen offers insight into the possible solutions and opportunities. Possible improvements (product and process) in the form of an advice provide the municipality of Heerlen with tools to approach the sustainability issue in the shrinkage districts.