Aim & Objectives

Austerity can accelerate social innovation in cities, but may also push it in particular directions, with significant, but little understood, implications for urban politics and governance.

Our aim is therefore to investigate the urban politics and governance of social innovation in austerity.

We will do this by addressing three objectives:

  1. To generate new theoretical and empirical knowledge of the relationship between social innovation and urban politics and governance in European cities, through research on three essential components of social innovation: generating financial resources, harnessing social energy and meeting material needs.
  2. To investigate the impact of contrasting experiences of austerity on the urban politics and governance of social innovation using a methodology of Comparative Urbanism of Social Innovation and Politics (CUSIP) across three cities: Athens, Berlin and Newcastle upon Tyne.
  3. To promote urban social innovation in Europe through the sharing and development of knowledge, experience and practice between cities among social innovators, urban policy-makers, community practitioners and social activists, via an international Urban Social Innovation Network (USIN).