Smart Urban Intermediaries – Trans-European Research, Learning and Action

Duration: 04/17 - 12/19

European cities face complex challenges that demand smart solutions. Smart Urban Intermediaries – Trans-European Research, Learning and Action, building on contributions from a variety of partner organizations in Netherlands, Denmark and the UK, seeks to identify new approaches to urban collaboration that can tackle these issues more effectively.

The project puts urban intermediaries, those people who can bring people and resources together in innovative ways, at the heart of smart urban development and sets out to understand how they create social innovation. The teams will carry out fieldwork in four European cities (Birmingham, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Amsterdam) and establish collaborative working groups, or ‘living labs’, which will be sources of data as well as sites for learning across projects, fields of practice, cities and countries.

By focusing on the role of ‘people who make a difference in neighbourhoods’, the project will contribute to current debates and practices in the fields of co-production, social justice and democratic innovation. The findings will advance knowledge of how intermediaries innovate and generate smart urban development, by creating opportunities for collaborative research, dialogue and learning across Europe.

Oliver Escobar and Elisabetta Mocca (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Catherine Durose and Alison Gilchrist (Birmingham University, UK)
Merlijn van Hulst and Mark van Ostaijen (Tilburg University, Netherlands)
Annika Agger (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Ellen Højgaard Jensen (Danish Town Planning Institute, Denmark)

An original, substantial and rigorous contribution to knowledge on the role of urban intermediaries in local governance and innovation.

Promotion and sharing of innovative practices through the creation of collaborative ‘living labs’ in case study cities and internationally.

Capacity building, knowledge exchange and practice development for a range of research users and co-producers .

Establishment of a trans-European network of partners, living labs and other stakeholders to promote learning and impact.