EURA Working Group on Urban change and regional development at the margins of Europe

Aims of the working group During the nineties cities and regions became a preferential target of the EU’s cohesion policy. For many European cities the implementation of community initiatives or place-based projects under the regional operational programes have resulted in a unique opportunity to innovate urban policy and local governance. In the less developed regions, particularly, this process have been (is) supported by considerable financial investments, leading several cities to benefit from large infrastructural projects or complex urban regeneration initiatives. After more then two decades of experiments the reality is highly variable and the optimistic view of urban areas as drivers of regional convergence must be carefully evaluated. Looking at the less developed regions at the end of the eighties, only a few of them have changed their status over the last two decades, mostly in Ireland and Spain. Within the regions that still lags behind, many large and medium-sized cities have experienced radical transformations in the urban structure and change in the local economy seems are taking place. The impact of these processes in terms of urban competitiveness, internal cohesion, regional convergence, however, remains poor and effectiveness of urban policy must often be searched elsewhere.


Way of working and expected outcomes:

The working group activity is based on a programme lasting approximately two years with the following milestones:

  • the organisation of a first internal meeting (end 2017-beginning 2018) in order to set up the case studies and refine the research methodology;
  • the organisation of a special session within the 2018 EURA Conference with the presentation of the case studies;
  • the organisation of a public seminar (end 2018-beginning 2019) to discuss the final outcomes of the working group;
  • publication of the research outcomes results in an edited book (mid 2019).


Initial Members:

  • Ignazio Vinci (University of Palermo) (Coordinator)
  • Sonia de Gregorio Hurtado (Technical University of Madrid)
  • Paula Russel (University College Dublin)
  • Charalampos Tsavdaroglou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
  • Isabel Breda-Vázquez, Paulo Coinceção, Carlos Oliveira (University of Porto)