EURA Conversations – EURA

EURA Conversations

Welcome to EURA Conversations

EURA Conversations, a new digital space for international exchange between urban scholars, was created on this website in May 2020. The idea was to provide a democratic arena to share experiences, offer reflections and encourage dialogue within the EURA community not just about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities, but also to consider how cities and communities in different countries and contexts have responded to this calamity.
As co-editors we have been more than pleased by the responses we have received. By summer 2022 some 46 EURA Conversation contributions, written by urban scholars from 20 different countries, had been posted. See the updated figures here, and browse the blogpost below.

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We look forward to hearing from you.

The co-editors

  • Anna Dąbrowska (University of Warsaw, PL)

  • Robin Hambleton (University of the West of England, UK)

  • Alistair Jones (De Montfort University, UK)

  • Le Anh Long (University of Twente, NL)

  • Ignazio Vinci (University of Palermo, IT)

EURA Conversations is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.


#64 Cities and the defence of democracy

Democracy is under attack. In more than a few countries far right politicians have, in recent years, sought to undermine long-established constitutional, democratic norms and weaken citizen voices. For example, as explained in these pages by Ivan Tosics (EC #57), Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, has since 2010 eroded press freedom, damaged judicial independence, and enfeebled elected local governments ...

#63 Abolition of the income tax surtax for financing Croatian municipalities and cities

Surtax on income tax was introduced in Croatia in 1994. The main reason was to provide local authorities with more fiscal space in the acquisition of revenue. Cities with more than 40,000 inhabitants were given the authority to determine the surtax ...

#62 Gender and local political leadership

The underrepresentation of women among elected officials in national governments is a well-known fact. It is observed also among local authorities. The situation changes along with the social modernization in some societies – but rather slowly ...

#61 Integrating social equity into electric utility planning

Energy is a key driver of life in the city. Everything from leisure to livelihoods in the city is made possible by energy sources that light up city streets, connect people through transportation systems, and keep food fresh in refrigeration systems depend on reliable and robust energy supply ...

#60 Cities on the edge

The 2024 International Conference on Urban Affairs will take place in New York, April 24-27, and is sponsored by the Urban Affairs Association, the European Urban Research Association, and the European Network for Housing Research. We are thrilled to extend our warmest welcome to all participants! ...

#59 Cities and the climate question

For many weeks, last summer, my region (Sicily) was burning in flames. Blown by African winds, fires rapidly destroyed ancient woods and crops in the countryside, attacking houses and larger estates at the margins of urban areas. In the days following the fires, cities were enveloped in a dense, grey smoke, making it difficult to breath and to go about life as usual outside our homes. ...

#58 Thoughts on loneliness in the European city

For me, living in a city centre apartment means a short walk to my office, access to a dense transport network and proximity to a dazzling array of food and leisure options. However, living in the city centre also comes with a great deal of anonymity. I so rarely see my neighbours that I don’t even know what most of them look like. ...

#57 Capital cities in captivity of their national governments

There are very different forms of relationships between national governments and their capital cities observable in Europe, as can be seen from the following two examples: The Métropole du Grand Paris, covering the City of Paris and the surrounding suburbs, was established on 1 January 2016. ...

#56 The affordable housing crisis: insights from a post-socialist city

Providing affordable housing has emerged as a major challenge for cities across the world. In the USA, a physical lack of affordable housing units in front of the stage. In Europe, the rising costs of housing, combined with a shortage of affordable housing units, means that cities across the continent now face a major housing crisis. ...

#55 Cities and artificial intelligence

Generative AI is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that produces content based on patterns it observes in large datasets. Although AI has been in use extensively in many settings (e.g. in scientific work and in the classroom), excitement and concern around AI seemed to reach a crescendo at the beginning of 2023. For instance, teachers began sharing reflections on the implications these language models ...

#54 The City of Reykjavík as an urban development toolbox: a glance at EURA2023

This EURA conversation reflects on the upcoming annual EURA conference to be held in Reykjavík, Iceland. The title of the conference is “the European city: A practice of resilience in the face of an uncertain future”. The conference will take place during ...

#53 Voluntary merger of municipalities and cities in Croatia

In many countries, policymakers are focussing on administrative-territorial reforms in order to improve the effectiveness of local governance. Some have reduced the number of municipalities through mergers. A voluntary merger is when central government provides the legal framework for the merger but leaves local authorities to negotiate and propose new boundaries. This is a "bottom-up" process and ...

#52 Solidarism and the city: let a thousand publics bloom

Swedish democracy is heading towards grimmer days. The political direction of the new conservative government of 2022, supported by the radical nationalist “Sweden democrats” sprung out of a neo-Nazi-party in the 1990’s, has a knife tip aimed towards migrants and multicultural society. Many fear that the main attack is against our egalitarian welfare model ...

#51 New perspectives for energy in cities

According to UN Habitat, urban areas consume 75% of total energy consumption and are responsible for around 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions. This is because all of the major urban infrastructures are highly energy-dependent: water supply, treatment and waste water disposal, transportation and communication infrastructures, intricate webs of food and material supply, waste disposal, and energy supply itself...

#50 Healthy Place-making and Human Wellbeing

Health is not only the absence of disease or infirmity but also a sense of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The way in which the living environment is designed influences inhabitants’ well-being. Unfortunately, the search for leverage points to enable better connections between wellbeing and the configuration of the built environment is messy. This is happening against the backdrop of the recent ...
Thumbnail about the new EURA Conversation blog post number 49

#49 The ‘15-minute city’: questioning the obvious

The ‘proximity-city’ is an umbrella term used to describe a range of chrono-urbanistic approaches focused on the provision of all one’s needs with a time-defined walking and/or cycling range. The most famous version of these approaches, and the one now receiving considerable attention, is the ‘15-minute city’ championed by the mayor of Paris. In a superficial sense, the 15-minute city echoes Jane Jacobs’...
Thumbnail about EURA CONVERSATIONS POST48 by Robin Hambleton

#48 The radical right threat to cities and communities

In recent months, serious newspapers in many different countries have drawn attention to the rise of the far-right in Europe. More than a few political commentators fear that recent developments could amount to a game-changing surge in support for nationalist, Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant, cu...
Thumbnail about the new EURA Conversation blog post number 47

#47 It’s supposed to be a conversation

One of the fascinating things about the EURA Conversations series is the wide range of topics about which so many people have written, especially all of the lesson learning from the Covid period (not that Covid is over, by any means). From Robin Hambleton’s opening Conversation on Leadership, through cycling, healthy spaces, to Africa, the Caribbean ...