The Summer University is a unique learning journey aiming at building the skills and capacities of urban professionals within the URBACT Programme. The experience will help you to manage Local Groups and develop Integrated Action Plans. It will also expose you to leading policy and practice in your areas of interest.

This 3rd edition in Rotterdam comes at the optimal moment in your URBACT network cycle, when city partners are establishing their URBACT Local Groups and starting the process of engaging stakeholders to co-create their integrated action plans. It will provide partners with the tools, methods and policy content that are needed to successfully develop local integrated policies.

The Summer University is an intense three-day experience. As such, it provides a great opportunity for Lead Partners and Lead Experts to strengthen the bonds amongst network partners. From previous events, we know it can transform network dynamics.

And of course, as a complement to network activities, the Summer University also allows URBACT partners to share and work with other cities and practitioners across Europe, beyond their own network.


The Summer University is exclusive to the URBACT community. This year, the USU will target URBACT Local Group coordinators in partner cities and all those city staff actively involved in the co-production of the action-plan to be delivered by all partners.

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Participants will have the chance to learn from one of the most vibrant cities in the Netherlands (and beyond!), in terms of urban development. Rotterdam has a wealth of great experiences and practices to offer. And we like to think that their lengthy involvement in URBACT has had at least something to do with that!

Rotterdam has been lately featured in the Guardian and New York times among others, for its latest architectural landmarks, urban regeneration projects, and bottom-up social innovation initiatives. This post-industrial city, completely destroyed during WW II and today host to more than 170 different nationalities, was awarded the prize of Europe's best city at the 2015 Urbanism Awards.

The URBACT Summer University will be embedded in the city and participants will experience the city and make the most of it.


Previous participants have been very enthusiastic about the practical learning experience offered by the Summer University. It gives URBACT cities the chance to gain a solid understanding of the URBACT method, what is expected of them at city level, and become better equipped to deliver the best results for their city during and beyond their network lifespan.

Previous Lead Partners and Lead Experts have remarked on the benefits for those cities that participated in the Summer University in translating the learning into more effective processes and results. Feel free to discuss this with them as some are still involved in URBACT action-planning networks !

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Labs and URBACT Local Group (ULG) sessions are the foundation of the URBACT Summer University. Participants will sign up for one of the five policy challenges, depending on their professional background and needs. This is often the issue addressed in the Local Action Plan they are working on within their URBACT network.

Working on a virtual case, participants will join a Lab that will address the main policy issue related to your network. The smaller groups (ULG) will be exploring the best ways to engage stakeholders, analyse the challenges and turn them into results and actions, or finding financing. Participants will find out about the steps needed to take to develop integrated urban plans, that are well conceived to really deliver results.

All this will be completed by inspirational talks, as well as plenty of informal moments to share information and create new networks.