European Urban Research Association (EURA)

The European Urban Research Association (EURA) is the leading academic network for urban scholars in Europe. Starting out as an initiative to promote and develop international academic exchange relating to cities and city regions in Europe, EURA has expanded its scope to include scholars from across the world. Launched at an international conference in Brussels in 1997, EURA has three main aims:

  • To encourage international exchange and co-operation in relation to urban research
  • To stimulate and encourage interdisciplinary and cross-national urban research
  • To contribute to urban policy debates.

 

Contents

  1. Foundation and status

  2. Aims of EURA

  3. Annual Conferences and Workshops

  4. International Journal: Urban Research and Practice

  5. Other EURA activities

  6. History of EURA

  7. Organization of EURA

 

 

Foundation and status

The first EURA Conference, held in Brussels, Belgium in September 1997, attracted 60 urban scholars together with representatives of the European Commission and the OECD. The EURA Secretariat was located at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK from 1997-2008. In 2009 the Secretariat was transferred to the Technical University (TU) of Darmstadt, Germany, and in 2013 to the Technical University (TU) of Dortmund. EURA is now registered at the local court in Darmstadt as a not-for-profit association (eingetragener Verein). EURA has two categories of members: Institutional Membership and Individual Membership.

 

Aims of EURA

The aims of EURA, agreed when the association was founded, are:

  • To provide an international forum for people from different disciplines and policy backgrounds to exchange information about, and findings from, research on towns and cities as the basis for closer co-operation
  • To encourage interdisciplinary and cross-national research in, and education for, urban and regional studies as a professional and academic field
  • To bridge the gaps between academic, professional and policy interests, inform debate and improve the quality of urban policy.

 

Annual Conferences and Workshops

EURA hosts an international conference every year. EURA conferences are truly interdisciplinary events and attract scholars from urban studies, urban economics, political science, urban sociology, sustainability studies, geography, climate change, urban design, city planning, public management, policy studies, leadership studies and so on. The size of the attendance at EURA conferences usually ranges from around 100 to over 300 participants. In addition to the annual conference, EURA members also organize smaller workshops on specific topics on an occasional basis.

EURA has always had a good working relationship with the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). From an early stage EURA has fostered a growth in transatlantic academic exchange between European urban scholars and their counterparts in the North American UAA. In 2004 EURA and UAA organized their first joint conference on City Futures. Held in Chicago this conference attracted over 250 participants from 36 countries. As it was such a success the two associations agreed to co-organize a City Futures conference every five years. City Futures II was held in Madrid in 2009, City Futures III was in Paris in 2014, and City Futures IV took place in Dublin in 2019.

 

Past EURA conferences and workshops

Here is a list of EURA conferences and workshops providing dates, locations and titles:

 

2020 – Olso, Norway. Contradictions shaping urban futures.

2019 – Dublin, Ireland. City Futures IV. Fourth joint conference with the UAA.

2018 – Tilburg, The Netherlands. Reconciling past and future urban and regional strengths.

2017 – Warsaw, Poland. Cities locked in networks.

2016 – Torino, Italy. City lights. Cities and citizens within/beyond/notwithstanding the crisis.

2015 – Sibiu, Romania. Transforming cities, transformative cities.

2014 – Paris, France. City Futures III. Third joint conference with the UAA.

2013 – Enschede, The Netherlands. Cities as seedbeds of innovation.

2012 – Vienna, Austria. Urban Europe: Challenges to meet the urban future.

2011 – Copenhagen, Denmark. Cities without limits.

2010 – Darmstadt, Germany. Understanding city dynamics.

2009 – Madrid, Spain. City Futures II. Second joint conference with the UAA.

2008 – Milan, Italy. Learning cities in a knowledge-based global society.

2007 – Glasgow, UK. The vital city.

2006 – Warsaw, Poland. Cities in city regions.

2005 – Lyon, France. International policies and strategies of cities.

2004 – Brno, Czech Republic. Public spaces and quality of life in cities.

2004 – Chicago, USA. City Futures. First joint conference with the UAA.

2003 – Budapest, Hungary. European urban development, research and policy.

2003 – Enschede, The Netherlands. A workshop on Universities and their role in urban community development.

2002 – Weimar, Germany. A workshop on Cities and urban regeneration

2002 – Torino, Italy. Urban and spatial European policies.

2001 – Prague, Czech Republic. A workshop on Strategies for revitalizing East European cities.

2001 – Copenhagen, Denmark. Area-based initiatives in contemporary urban policy.

2000 – Dublin, Ireland. Cities in the region.

1999 – Paris, France. European cities in transformation.

1999 – Oslo, Norway. A workshop on Innovations in urban governance.

1998 – Venice, Italy. Towards an urban agenda for the European Union.

1997 – Brussels, Belgium. Governing cities: International Perspectives.

 

International Journal: Urban Research and Practice

EURA has created a new international journal to offer both its own members, and the urban research and practice community in general, the benefits of a journal dedicated to cultivating links between urban scholars and policy makers. Launched in 2008 Urban Research & Practice  is published by Taylor and Francis.

Urban Research & Practice has established itself as a respected and influential journal, one that publishes a wide range of original academic research articles along with innovative articles on policy and practice. The journal, published in association with EURA, is a cross-disciplinary journal, with a focus on urban policy and urban studies.

Urban Research & Practice seeks to reflect and further enhance the rich diversity of thought, approach and research that currently characterizes the study of urban areas in Europe and elsewhere. As such it aims to be a key part of the renaissance in urban studies currently taking place, making contributions to academic research and policy development. The journal publishes research of the highest quality relating to the challenges facing urban environments today. Another key aim of the journal is to seek to bridge the intellectual and geographical ‘divides’ that currently exist in the field of urban affairs – specifically the North/South divide and the East/West divide and also divides between distinct academic disciplines.

Policy articles, practice articles and book reviews

As well as traditional academic papers, the journal also publishes policy articles, practice articles and book reviews. The Policy section focuses on new policies launched at the European, national and regional levels that are of relevance to a wider audience. The Practice section focuses on innovative projects, conferences and events being carried out at a local level in cities or regions.

Editorial team

The editor of Urban Research and Practice is Professor Rob Atkinson, University of the West of England, Bristol. Professor Karsten Zimmermann is co-editor, and Professor Cristiana Rossignolo, Politecnico di Torino, and Dr Paula Russell, University College Dublin, are associate editors. An Editorial Board and an Advisory Board provide support to the editors.

 

Other EURA activities

EURA provides regular news updates to its members relating to urban research matters, including research bidding opportunities, information on upcoming conferences and events. The association also partners with other international organizations to deliver PhD Training Schools – for example, EURA has collaborated with EUROLOC to provide PhD Summer Schools and Winter Schools relating to local government studies.

EURA events foster networking and relationship building and, as a result, EURA has helped to develop numerous international collaborations from guest professorships to a variety of international research and consultancy projects. Some of these research collaborations are quite large. For example, the PLUS project on ‘Participation, Leadership and Urban Sustainability’, funded by the EU Framework Programme on Research and Technology, which brought together 29 partners from nine countries, led to the publication of two books and numerous comparative articles. Another research project funded by the European Commission under Framework Programme 7 was GFORS – Governance for sustainability (2006 – 2009).

Furthermore, for almost twenty years, a group of scholars organized by EURA, and/or the Standing Group on Local Government and Politics (LOGOPOL) of the European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR), has carried out surveys in most European countries of actors performing different roles within local government.

EURA offers an annual EURA Young Scholar Award. This is designed to celebrate outstanding urban scholarship by PhD students and/or scholars at an early stage in their career. The process involves, at each EURA conference, an independent panel assessing the papers given by those scholars who wish to be considered for the award. Winners of the Young Scholar Award receive a grant (currently 1,000 euro) to enable them to attend either the next EURA conference, or the next UAA conference.

Finally, EURA members form self-directing EURA Working Groups on topics of shared interest. These groups enable colleagues to share insights and experiences, co-organize panels at conferences, pursue international research grants and expand the field of urban studies. Currently, there are working groups on topics such as Cities at the Margins of Europe, Local State-Society Relations and National Urban Policies in Europe.

 

History of EURA

The idea of creating a new European Urban Research Association was conceived in 1994 at an international conference on ‘Shaping the urban future’ organized by the School for Advanced Urban Studies at the University of Bristol, UK. The Urban Affairs Association (UAA), already a well-established international network in North America, provided a potential model for a new interdisciplinary urban studies association, and the UAA Governing Board gave every encouragement to the idea of creating a sister network of urban scholars.

Following a process of consultation with urban studies institutes across Europe, and a series of planning meetings in 1995-96, it was decided there was enough interest to organize a first conference. This took place in Brussels, Belgium in 1997 and the conference theme was ‘Governing cities: international perspectives’. Over 60 urban scholars from twelve countries participated in the conference and gave their support to the launch of EURA.

The three main aims of EURA – see above – were agreed at this founding conference. An Executive Committee was formed to further the aims of the association, and a EURA Newsletter was started to provide urban research news and information to interested scholars. In 1998 a EURA Membership subscription scheme was launched with two categories of membership: Institutional Members and Individual Members. Over the years the association has grown from a relatively small group of enthusiastic scholars into a large international network with members in over twenty [More? Check] countries.

 

Organization of EURA

Gradually, from a small but ambitious networking initiative, EURA developed into a mature international organization. A crucial step in the evolution of EURA was the adoption of a EURA Charter in 2005. This provides the association with a formal constitution that sets out, among other things, arrangements for electing a Governing Board and the roles and responsibilities of the President, the Governing Board and the EURA General Assembly.

The individuals who have served as President of EURA are as follows:

Professor Robin Hambleton, University of the West of England, Bristol (1997-2002)

Dr Jacob Norvig Larsson, Danish Building and Urban Research Department, Copenhagen (2003-2004)

Professor Rob Atkinson, University of the West of England, Bristol (Interim President) (2004)

Professor Pawel Swianiewicz, University of Warsaw (2005-2009)

Professor Hubert Heinelt, Technical University (TU) of Darmstadt (2009-2013)

Professor Karsten Zimmermann, Technical University (TU) Dortmund (2013-2017)

Professor Valeria Fedeli, Politecnico di Milano (2017- ongoing)

 

External links

Homepage of EURA: https://eura.org/welcome/

EURA Conference in Oslo 2020: https://www.eura2020.org

Urban Research and Practice: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rurp20

Urban Affairs Association: https://urbanaffairsassociation.org