To content
Department of Spatial Planning
Logo European Urban Research Association ©

European Urban Research Association

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

  • To promote international exchange and cooperation in the field of urban research.
  • To stimulate and promote interdisciplinary and transnational urban research
  • Contribute to urban policy debates.

Foundation and status

The first EURA conference, held in Brussels, Belgium, in September 1997, was attended by 60 urban researchers and representatives of the European Commission and the OECD. The EURA Secretariat was located at the University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom, from 1997 to 2008. In 2009, the Secretariat was relocated to the Technical University (TU) Darmstadt, Germany, and in 2013 to the Technical University (TU) Dortmund, Germany. EURA is now registered with the Darmstadt District Court as a non-profit association. EURA has two categories of members: Institutional Membership and Individual Membership.

Goals of EURA

The goals of EURA, which were agreed upon when the association was founded, are:

  • To provide an international forum for individuals from different disciplines and policy backgrounds to exchange information and results from research on cities and towns as a basis for closer collaboration.
  • Promote interdisciplinary and cross-national research and training in urban and regional studies as a professional and scientific field Bridge the gap between academic, professional, and policy interests, inform the debate, and improve the quality of urban policy.

Annual conferences and workshops

EURA hosts an international conference each year. EURA conferences are truly interdisciplinary events and attract scholars from the fields of urban studies, urban economics, political science, urban sociology, sustainability studies, geography, climate change, urban design, urban planning, public management, policy studies, leadership studies, etc. The number of participants in EURA conferences usually varies from 100 to over 300 people. In addition to the annual conference, EURA members occasionally organize smaller workshops on specific topics.

EURA has always had a good working relationship with the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). From the beginning, EURA has fostered a growing transatlantic academic exchange between European urban researchers and their counterparts in the North American UAA. In 2004, EURA and UAA organized their first joint conference on City Futures. This conference in Chicago was attended by over 250 participants from 36 countries. Due to its great success, the two associations agreed to jointly organize a City Futures conference every five years. City Futures II was held in Madrid in 2009, City Futures III in Paris in 2014, and City Futures IV in Dublin in 2019.

Previous EURA conferences and workshops

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

2022 - Milan, Italy. Defrag-Europe: fragility/antifragility in contemporary Europe.

2020 - Oslo, Norway. Contradictions in shaping urban futures. (cancelled due to Covid-19)

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

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

2017 - Warsaw, Poland. Connected Cities.

2016 - Turin, Italy. City Lights. Cities and citizens within/beyond/regarding the crisis.

2015 - Sibiu, Romania. Cities in transition, transformative cities.

2014 - Paris, France. City Futures III. third joint conference with UAA.

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

2012 - Vienna, Austria. Urban Europe: challenges for the urban future.

2011 - Copenhagen, Denmark. Cities without borders.

2010 - Darmstadt, Germany. Understanding the dynamics of cities.

2009 - Madrid, Spain. City Future II. Second joint conference with UAA.

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

2007 - Glasgow, UK. The vital city.

2006 - Warsaw, Poland. Cities in urban 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 UAA.

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

2003 - Enschede, the Netherlands. A workshop on universities and their role in the development of urban communities.

2002 - Weimar, Germany. A workshop on cities and urban renewal.

2002 - Turin, Italy. European urban and regional planning policy.

2001 - Prague, Czech Republic. A workshop on strategies for revitalizing Eastern 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 transition.

1999 - Oslo, Norway. A workshop on innovation in urban management.

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 launched a new international journal to provide both its own members and the urban research and practice community at large with the benefits of a journal dedicated to fostering connections between urban researchers 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, publishing a wide range of original scholarly articles as well as innovative policy and practice articles. The journal, published in collaboration with EURA, is a multidisciplinary journal focusing on urban policy and urban research.

Urban Research & Practice aims to reflect and further develop the rich diversity of thought, approaches, and research currently characterizing the study of urban areas in Europe and elsewhere. As such, it aims to be an important part of the urban research renaissance currently underway, contributing to academic research and policy development. The journal publishes research of the highest quality that addresses the challenges facing urban areas today. Another important goal of the journal is to bridge the intellectual and geographic "divides" that currently exist in the field of urban affairs-particularly the North-South divide and the East-West divide, as well as the divides between different academic disciplines.

Policy articles, practice articles, and book reviews.

In addition to traditional academic articles, the journal publishes policy articles, practice articles, and book reviews. The Policy section focuses on new policies at the European, national, and regional levels that are relevant to a broader audience. The Practice section focuses on innovative projects, conferences, and events that are being implemented at the local level in cities or regions.

Editorial Board

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 support the editors.

Other EURA activities

EURA regularly informs its members about news in the field of urban research, such as opportunities to tender for research projects, information about upcoming conferences and events. The association also collaborates with other international organizations to host doctoral schools - for example, EURA has worked with EUROLOC to offer doctoral summer schools and winter schools in the field of urban studies.

EURA events promote networking and relationship building, and so EURA has helped develop numerous international collaborations, from visiting professorships to a variety of international research and consulting projects. Some of these research collaborations are quite extensive. For example, the PLUS project "Participation, Leadership and Urban Sustainability," funded by the EU Framework Program for Research and Technology and involving 29 partners from nine countries, has resulted in the publication of two books and numerous comparative articles. Another research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program was GFORS - Governance for sustainability (2006 - 2009).

In addition, a group of researchers organized by EURA and/or the Standing Group on Local Government and Politics (LOGOPOL) of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) has been conducting surveys of actors performing various functions within local government in most European countries for almost twenty years.

EURA presents an annual EURA Young Scholar Award. This award is intended to recognize outstanding urban research by doctoral students and/or scholars at an early stage in their careers. At each EURA conference, an independent panel evaluates the contributions of those scholars who are eligible for the award. Winners of the Young Scholar Award receive a stipend (currently €1,000) that allows them to attend the next EURA conference or the next UAA conference.

Finally, EURA members form self-governing EURA working groups on topics of common interest. These groups allow colleagues to share insights and experiences, co-organize panels at conferences, apply for international research grants, and expand the field of urban research. Currently, there are working groups on topics such as cities at the edges of Europe, local state-society relations, and national urban policy in Europe.

History of EURA

The idea to establish a new European Association for Urban Research emerged 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), an already well-established international network in North America, offered a potential model for a new interdisciplinary association for urban research, and the UAA Board of Directors strongly supported the idea of creating a sister network of urban researchers.

After a consultation process with urban research institutes throughout Europe and a series of planning meetings in 1995-96, it was decided that there was sufficient interest to organize an initial conference. This was held in 1997 in Brussels, Belgium, under the theme "Governing cities: international perspectives." Over 60 urban researchers from twelve countries attended the conference and supported the creation of EURA.

The three main objectives of EURA - see above - were agreed upon at this founding conference. An Executive Committee was formed to advance the goals of the Association, and a EURA Newsletter was launched to provide urban research news and information to interested scholars. In 1998, a EURA membership dues system was introduced with two categories of members: Institutional Members and Individual Members. Over the years, the association has grown from a relatively small group of enthusiastic scholars to a large international network with members in over twenty [check more] countries.

Organization of the EURA

From a small but ambitious networking initiative, EURA gradually evolved into a mature international organization. A crucial step in EURA's development was the adoption of a EURA Charter in 2005, which gives the association a formal constitution that sets out, among other things, the arrangements for the election of the Board of Directors and the roles and responsibilities of the President, the Board of Directors, and the EURA General Assembly.

The following individuals have held the office of EURA President:

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

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

Professor Rob Atkinson, University of the West of England, Bristol (interim chair) (2004)

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

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

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

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

Website EURA

EURA Conference 2022 in Milan, Italy

Urban Affairs Association