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Support for cooperative urban research

An EU team extended results of an earlier project, in bringing together stakeholders of urban environmental issues. The venture hosted a series of structured analytical dialogues, resulting in alignment between researchers and policy specialists.
Support for cooperative urban research
The world faces numerous dire sustainability problems, particularly involving cities as major contributors to the over-all human impact. Yet cities simultaneously bring together certain resources needed to combat the problems.

Whatever the ultimate answers, cities working together will be key to achieving solutions. The EU-funded URBAN-NEXUS (Furthering strategic urban research) project was a coordination and support action. The consortium planned to provide a structured dialogue among stakeholders having an interest in reducing urban ecological footprints. A further goal was to extend the partnership network of stakeholders established by an earlier EU-funded project (URBAN-NET, 2006-2011). The new venture specifically sought innovative solutions to sustainability problems, while fostering awareness and exchange among stakeholders about the issues. The team additionally aimed to unite researchers and those who implement findings for longterm strategic, multi-disciplinary cooperation.

One of the consortium's first actions was to define a consistent and effective approach to hosting the project's events, and organising follow-up. The format involved a series of "Dialogue Cafes", which promoted discussion and analysis of issues. Topics included: urban climate resilience, health and quality of life, competition for urban land, integrating data and information, and integrating urban management. Each was further broken down into numerous key messages, including the importance of integrated approaches, and mitigating health and environmental stressors.

General outcomes included increase to the number of participant groups, and total diversity, compared to what URBAN-NET achieved.

Researchers concluded that success depends on agreement among partners concerning decision-making. The Dialogue Cafes showed a trend towards such agreement, and greater social engagement.

Many practical examples illustrated such outcomes. One such was how linkages established and developed in URBAN-NEXUS feed in to research being done within similar EU projects such as SEISMIC.

The consortium additionally strengthened the longterm strategic framework for scientific collaboration, which bridges research and policy implementation. Urban research benefitted from the stakeholder engagement the project fostered. Such research was also attuned to the practical realities facing European cities.

URBAN-NEXUS extended the existing network of urban experts and researchers. The efforts helped to unite interested parties, and tailor research results towards much-needed practical solutions.

Related information


Sustainability, URBAN-NEXUS, cities, cooperation, strategic, research
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