Smart Cities Transforming Governance

Urban governance across Europe’s cities and regions, seeking to create healthy and sustainable cities, faces multiple challenges of management complexity, democratic deficit, and dwindling resources.

Our smart city applied governance research, driven by multi-disciplinary pan-European collaboration aims to harness the power of social and technology innovation to transform the effective management of the city and spatial decision making.

Research topics

Research topics under the theme of Smart Cities Transforming Governance include:

  • developing conceptual frames for transformational governance integrating top-down and bottom-up engagement in decision-making in collaboration with our European city partners;
  • supporting development of open governance based on co-production and collaborative forms of service design and delivery;
  • enabling and empowering citizens and business to actively participate in the design, creation and delivery of open governance;
  • promoting stakeholder engagement in the specification of user requirements for transformational governance, and the evaluation of alternative solutions for both user and technology;
  • developing common, generic and modular urban governance solutions defining new business models for our industry partners.


Current and completed research projects relating to this theme include:

  • SUNEX (Sustainable Urban FWE Nexus)
  • CURE (Copernicus for Urban Resilience in Europe)
  • DECUMANUS - Geo-Spatial Adaptation of Urban Environmental Impacts (FP7 DG ENTR, European Commission, 2013 - 2016)
  • urbanAPI - planning tools for integrated urban governance (FP7 DG INFSO, European Commission, 2011 - 2014)
  • European Topic Centre - Spatial Information Analysis (ETC-SIA) - (European Environment Agency, 2011 - 2014)
  • urban-NEXUS - Furthering Strategic Urban Research Coordination Action (FP7 DG Research, European Commission, 2011 - 2014)
  • BOSS4GMES - Building Operational Sustainable Services for GMES (FP6 DG Research, European Commission, 2006 - 2009)
  • HUMBOLDT - Frameworks for Data Harmonisation and Service Integration (FP6 DG Research, European Commission, 2006 - 2010)
  • GSEL and Information Services (European Space Agency, 2006 – 2008)
  • MUE25 Managing Urban Europe 25 (DG Environment, European Commission, 2005- 2008)
  • IntelCities Integrated Project (FP6 DG Research, European Commission, 2004 - 2006)
  • GMES – Global Monitoring for Urban Europe (European Space Agency, 2003 – 2005)

For more information about this research theme please e-mail