EUniverCities is a European network, launched in 2012, in which medium sized cities as well as universities (working in tandems) work together in order to give knowledge cities more visibility within Europe. The network aims to exchange and spread the knowledge, expertise and experience about city-university cooperation across urban Europe.
Network members learn from each other how to shape co-operations in a fruitful way, apply the lessons, take next steps on the local level, and spread the lessons and ideas.
The network has been inspired by the EU2020 Strategy on Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth attributes great importance to knowledge, innovation and technology.
The network is accompanied by Willem van Winden, Urban IQ as an External Expert. The current ambitions and aims as well as the conditions of cooperation between the partners are defined in the Network Strategy 2020 – 2022. The network partners can create subnetworks for special issues.
EUniverCities’ driving themes
The key themes and areas of interest for the network’s operations can be found in the Flower model, linked with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that the world community has set itself, and in which cities & universities can play a major role together and assure very interesting contributions for their communities.
These topics are:
- Urban planning (transport, campus development, housing, smart cities etc.)
- Economy (labour market, entrepreneurship, university-business co-creation, marketing/branding etc.)
- Culture (heritage, events, sports, leisure, arts & design etc.)
- Society (immigration, inclusion/exclusion, gentrification, ageing, health & care, science & society)
- Sustainability (energy transition, climate change resilience)
- Life-long learning and teaching (learning for adults, primary & secondary education)
Cross-cutting topics (apply to all main topics):
- Effective governance of city-university co-operation (this includes the organisational setup of the collaboration, but also student/staff engagement, as well as facilities such as living labs, co-creation spaces etc)
- Regional co-operation
Within each domain, university and city may have a shared or common interest, and there is an opportunity for active collaboration. Also, in each domain, there are specific tensions and challenges.
Network members meet each other once or twice a year in one of the European cities involved in the network to address a specific topic from within one of the five domains. It is up to each hosting city-university tandem to decide which topic will be addressed during the meeting.
The basic idea is to formulate a problem statement, and let the members share and exchange their experience and knowledge with the hosts via interactive work methods such as peer reviewing. Based on the chosen topic, the members invite their specialists/experts in this specific field to optimize the exchange and learn experience during the meeting.