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In Covid-19 times, when social interdependence is on many stakeholder’s and cities’ lips, we wish to highlight relevant findings by the Smart Urban Intermediaries (SmartUrbI) project. Smart Urban Intermediaries (SUI) can be identified as ‘people who make a difference in neighbourhoods’. Partners involved in the project argues that intervention, prevention and investing in this piece of work will not only add value but may save money. Learn more in the publications!
These project results are of relevance to anyone interested in:
• How people make a difference in neighbourhoods
• What enables or hinders this kind of local action in a range of
• What can be done in terms of capacity building, governance and
• The role of policy-makers, politicians, non-governmental
organisations and funders in supporting smart urban intermediation
The attitudes of community-facing professionals and politicians can play a big part in developing mutual respect and learning. Organisational culture can ease or hinder this exchange; as can unhelpful community engagement strategies that fail to address power differentials or to acknowledge diverse traditions and needs. The policy brief considers these barriers and enablers in more detail. It explores how they relate to capacity, governance and resources; and includes recommendations for improving the conditions that can support and sustain the work of SUIs.
“Neighbourhoods matter and key
people who can bring
neighbourhoods, community groups,
voluntary groups together matter…
So if you can build partnerships
everybody wins” (SUI).
The goal of the Smart Urban Intermediaries research project was to investigate the different ways in which certain individuals use their skills, energy and contacts to make a difference for neighbourhoods. The project has revealed important aspects of their practice but now it is up to policy makers and funders to respond by building on these findings to create the conditions that enable intermediaries to become even more effective and resilient! The vision of a socially smart city creates the opportunity to develop, amplify and deepen their impact long into the future.
SmartUrbI is supported by the JPI Urban Europe ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF) Call.