European Observatory on Sustainable MESURS (Medium-sized Urban and Regional Systems) — An Observatory of Transition to Sustainability

Sustainability solutions tend to be developed with big agglomerations in mind. However, medium-sized cities have a strategic importance for sustainable development in the EU, since a large part of Europeans live in medium-sized cities. The European Observatory on Sustainable MESURS aims at identifying, discussing and disseminating policies and governance practice for sustainable medium-sized urban and regional systems. We focus particularly on policies and on governance because of the limit capacity of local institutions to understand situations that may not be sustainable and to act is paramount.

The European Observatory on Sustainable MESURS counts on a solid and coherent partnership that gathers research centers, political institutions, city movements, major associations, and agglomeration networks, all of them with one objective: share best practices and promote research interaction on sustainable development in medium-sized cities. For the first time, thanks to the identified European partners sustainability solutions specifically developed for medium-sized urban and regional systems will be regularly and rigorously collected, compiled, interpreted and disseminated. Appropriate anticipation and feedback to environmental, social and economic change is needed to build resilient systems and to make them thrive.

The European Observatory on Sustainable MESURS objectives are thematically and geographically concentrated in three key activities:

  • Establishing and facilitating an inclusive and efficient network of relevant stakeholders involved in the development of Medium-sized Urban and Regional Systems;
  • Creating opportunities to publicize relevant initiatives, exchanging information and illustrative examples;
  • Producing a regular outlook on what makes medium sized cities sustainable and a series of working papers.

We aim at establishing a focal point for encouraging creative interactions between scholars, local governance authorities, SMEs, NGOs, and all the stakeholders of urban sustainability to develop:

  • A permanent forward-thinking to drive, to coordinate research initiative and to shape sustainable urban development in times of global shift;
  • An integrative, interdisciplinary and horizontal approach across the interfaces of economy, society, ecology, mobility, technology and innovation serving society by raising public awareness and acceptance;
  • A toolbox to strengthen the link between expertise and practice that result in an innovative and impact-oriented approach and consolidate best practices through regular publication of scientific reports.
  • A decision support system to help the governance at the different levels;
  • Side events, workshops, local issue specific networks and focus groups on specific issues.

Members of the Observatory:

IATEUR-IRCS coordinator, Agglomeration of Greater Manchester UK, ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustaianbility – Germany), UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), NORDREGIO (Nord Center for Spatial Development – Sweden), WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) ,Universiteit Maastricht (Netherlands), Università di Camerino (Italy), Universidade do Minho (Portugal), TÖOSZ (Hungary National Association of Local Authorities) and Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Universidad de Cantabria (Spain) and Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias (Spain).

Started in 2014

Contact : François Mancebo –