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Smart Urban Intermediaries:
‘People who make a difference
in neighbourhoods’

Connecting people. Changing Communities.

European cities face complex challenges that demand smart solutions. This project puts urban intermediaries, those people who can bring people and resources together in innovative ways, at the heart of smart urban development and sets out to understand how they create social innovation.

Our research takes place in four European cities: Birmingham, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Amsterdam. We are working in collaboration with a range of partners in the public, third and community sectors, brought together in local and transnational ‘living labs’. The purpose is to advance knowledge of how intermediaries innovate and generate smart urban development, creating opportunities for dialogue and learning between social innovators across Europe.

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FIVE WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN URBAN NEIGHBOURHOODS

This short video introduces key findings from the pilot research that informed the development of our Smart Urban Intermediaries project.

We found five ways in which people seek to make a difference in urban neighbourhoods: enduring, struggling, facilitating, organising, and trailblazing.

These approaches can be combined productively, but they can also clash. Our project seeks to understand how this takes place, and to foster productive dialogue between people taking local action in communities across Europe.

The video was funded by What Works Scotland and made by IRISS. You can read about the research in this journal article: ‘Five Ways to Make a Difference: Perceptions of Practitioners Working in Urban Neighborhoods’ or access the Open Access version.

SmartUrban_Buildings and Trees-1