JRC
Joint Research Center – Territorial development

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This report illustrates the activities and outcomes of the Exploratory Research Activity ‘Space matters: How to develop a common methodology for CityLabs’, developed by the Territorial Development Unit of the Joint Research Centre between October 2021 and September 2022. The main aim was to develop an up-to-date, robust and flexible methodology that could be applied to future CityLabs.


A CityLab is a participatory research format where the JRC works in close contact with a specific European municipality to collectively gather quantitative and qualitative data on a specific trend or discuss and spatialise the impact of a specific urban policy. The topics under observation are place-based and vary according to the urban context being analysed.
The ERA activities included one workshop with internal experts from the European Commission highlighting knowledge and current projects in the JRC and one workshop with experts from academia, planning practices and policy networks highlighting the state-of-the-art, good practices and successful examples of urban labs.
Contributions fed the development of a methodology that is modular, flexible and adaptable to future CityLabs organised among partners. The methodology and best practices presented in the report contribute to evaluating the impact of European policy at the urban level and to informing cities of their policy coherence with European frameworks and priorities, as well as funding opportunities that support cities.

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About JRC
Joint Research Center – Territorial development
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The Joint Research Center  – Territorial development unit supports the territorial articulation of the EU policy agenda, its external investment and global outreach. Our aim is to deliver world-class science-for-policy support to bring Europe closer to citizens and places, turning territorial diversity into value.

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