Date and location

  •   October 14, 2016 - October 14, 2016
  •   TU Delft, The Netherlands

Conference details

More than two thirds of EU citizens live in urban areas and that share is set to grow further. Cities are Europe’s core hubs for economic growth, innovation and employment. However, at the same time cities magnify some of the key challenges that Europe faces, from environment, social deprivation, quality of life, mobility, to integration of migrants and refugees. The importance of cities for Europe’s future is reflected in recent European strategies and agreements such as the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, the Toledo Declaration or the more recent Urban Agenda for the EU, acknowledging the cities as focal points for economic development and as actors with a key responsibility in achieving territorial cohesion and the EU’s strategic goals. This in turn resulted in a pledge for boosting the urban dimension in EU cohesion policy as well as the development of national urban policies across all of the member states. Consequently, there is a growing number of instruments and initiatives as part of EU cohesion policy (e.g. JESSICA, Community-Led Local Development) and other initiatives (Adaptation Strategies for European Cities, European Urban Knowledge Network, URBACT, etc.) that support sustainable urban development and facilitate cooperation across municipal boundaries to promote development in metropolitan areas (e.g. Integrated Territorial Investment). Echoing these developments DG Regio recently changed its name to Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy. 

But what is behind those changes? What have been the effects of the new instruments? How have cities responded to them and who actually benefits from them? To what extent these new instruments contribute to Europe 2020 goals? To what extent and how has the EU influenced national urban policies and practices of urban practitioners on the ground? Does this new EU urban agenda stimulate new urban governance solutions? Do the EU instruments help to respond to the emerging challenges in the cities? These are some of the questions that this workshop in Delft aims to address. By bringing together scholars and practitioners working on this still under-researched but vitally important topic, the workshop seeks to offer a significant contribution to the scholarly debates and a forum for a critical reflection on the emerging EU urban policy. 

We invite research-based paper proposals with clear implications for practice on the following (or related) themes:
1.    The activities of cities and urban networks as shapers and beneficiaries of EU Cohesion Policy;
2.    The take-up and impacts of EU instruments for supporting urban development/redevelopment 
3.    The urban dimension in EU Cohesion Policy operational programmes;
4.    EU instruments for supporting urban (re)development (e.g. financial instruments) and their impacts on the ground; 
5.    EU instruments supporting urban governance and inter-municipal cooperation (e.g. Integrated Territorial Investment; Community-Led Local Development)
6.    Cross-border city networks and urban mobility in Europe;
7.    Energy transition and energy efficiency in European cities;
8.    The influences of EU Cohesion Policy in shaping European identities and perceptions of European integration in cities.

The proposals should:
a)    Include a presentation of maximum 5 slides, outlining the research questions, the conceptual framework, the research design and the key findings of the research;
b)    Include an abstract of up to 500 words summarising the research and clearly outlining its originality and contribution to the scholarly and policy debates;
c)    Include a short bio of up to 150 words accompanied by full contact details of the Author(s);
d)    Be submitted by email to 


Further details can be found in the attached Call for Papers. 

How to get there

TU Delft, The Netherlands