“Urban@it – National Centre for Urban Policies Studies” is a non-profit Association with the participation of several Italian Universities (University of Bologna, Politecnico di Milano, University IUAV of Venice, University of Florence, Roma Tre University, University of Naples “Federico II”, Polytechnic University of Bari, University of Milano-Bicocca, Sapienza University in Rome) and of three other organizations – the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI), the Italian Society of Urbanists (SIU) and the Urban Laboratory, a documentation and research centre of Bologna). It was set up on December 15, 2014.

The Centre proposes to create and consolidate a strong and mutual relationship on the theme of urban policies among research, institutions, production sector and the active citizenship. It will become a think thank for cities and for the Public Administration, with the purpose of directing academic and non-academic research geared towards programmatic innovation in public policies.

This initiative was developed in accord to the renewed attention to urban themes among an international scenario. The third major United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III will take place in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. In the meantime, the European Union is discussing how to relaunch the Urban Agenda on the basis of the calls coming from a range of stakeholders following a communication from the European Commission called “The urban dimension of EU policies – key features of an EU Urban Agenda” (07/18/2014).

Italy will adopt as well its own Urban Agenda. In this context, Urban@it will support the formation of effective urban policies and strategies for city government.

One of the main commitments of Urban@it is to process an annual Report on cities and urban policies, as an opportunity to reflect together on these themes.