Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

The European URBAN experience - seen from the academic perspective

Projektlaufzeit: 01.06.2005 - 31.05.2006
Gefördert durch: Europäische Union / Programm URBACT (EFRE)


Projektleitung: Susanne Frank
Projektmitarbeiter/innen: Dr. Andrej Holm, Hannah Kreinsen, Tim Birkholz

Study project The study aims at presenting recent and current academic research on the implementation of URBAN I & II programmes in different European cities and countries. It should provide an overview of the existing studies (with references, sources, authors, locations), and, above all, an analytical synthesis of the issues, research questions and answers addressed by these studies.
This is not as easy as it seems to be. Although there are many (young) researchers from different fields of study (e.g. political and administrative sciences, sociology, urban planning, geography etc.) involved in the area, as yet not even a fistful of academic studies has been published officially. The URBAN literature is mainly made up of grey literature: unpublished dissertations, Diploma papers (Degree and Master theses), expert reports and conference papers, some scattered articles. Grey literature is not widely circulated and therefore difficult to get knowledge of and to obtain. In other words, in this research area there is a lack of systematic recording of available literature and a lack of communication or networking between the researchers.
Therefore, the project has 4 objectives:
1) to systematically detect the academic URBAN literature in order to provide a full bibliography
2) to systematically analyze and synthesize the literature. Here, our particular focus is on questions of governance: What is the impact of URBAN on (national, regional and) local governance structures and dynamics? In how far has URBAN the potential to empower the subnational level and local actors? What is the importance of exchange and policy learning offered through the transnational dimension of URBAN (and URBACT)?
3) to further networking and exchange between young academic researchers within the Network of Young European Urban Policy and URBAN researchers
4) to feed back the (intermediate) findings to URBAN activists and practitioners by presenting and discussing them at URBACT conferences.

Lead partner of the project is Humboldt University. Partners are Karl-Franzens-University Graz, the Politecnico di Bari and the University of Amsterdam. Associated partners are researchers from CEVIPOF Paris, Free University Berlin, Dortmund University, Bauhaus University Weimar, Technical University Berlin, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Politecnico of Milan and University of the Aegean, Mytilène.

The results of the study project can be viewed and downloaded here:

- The European URBAN Experience: Study Report (pdf 885 KB)

- Bibliography of URBAN I and II literature in alphabetical order (pdf 117 KB)