The Urban Agency Network meets in Athens

Adriana de La Peña Espinosa Global Network urban studies

On the 21st of August, the Urban Agency network had its first face-to-face meeting at the Harokopio University, Athens, in relation to the RC21 conference on urban and regional development. Representatives from European and North American urban centres and research institutes met under the title “Towards a sustainable integration of disciplines in urban studies”.

The roundtables explored issues like “What is the relevance of urban studies today?” (Chaired by IUR director Guy Baeten), “Urban Studies and public engagement” (Chaired by Bas Van Heur, Brussels University) and a live Global Urban Dialogues Interview with Talja Blokland from Georg-Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies of the Humbold University in Berlin, conducted by Stijn Oosterlynck of the University of Antwerp. Anna Selmeczi, from the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, was invited to give a keynote (Chair Maria Kaika, University of Amsterdam). The day ended with a Greek dinner. 

Besides sharing experiences, future plans for the network were discussed, and a website will soon be released as well as common publications. The network is funded by Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and lasts until 2025.

Let’s end with a quote from Talja Blokland  “…every established university in Europe has an urban studies degree”.