Current research

Innosogo (2015-2017)

This national research project analyses the relation between socially innovative practices to tackle social exclusion and multi-level governance. The objective is to analyze initiatives emerging from civil society or local administration to provide mateiral and immaterial resources and to empower individuals and groups  in the context of the economic crisis and austerity policies. We will analyse the emergence in four Spanish citiy-regions: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Zaragoza. We are specially interested in the connection of such experiences with local administration and their impact in the local goverance in terms of policies. Following previous research on the question, our departing hypothesis is that connection with the administration allows for the consolidation of these initiatives and its transformation into more general policies, but that this transformation can entail a loss of effectiveness.

I am participating in this project with Marisol Garcia (team coordinator), Ana Cano and Santiago Eizaguirre, all of them members of the Research Group CRIT

 Innova / Innred (2013-2015)

This national research project analyses the emergence of economic  and governance innovations in the urban context that can bring economic growth, employment and social cohesion. Economic innovations refers to new sectors or activities linked to symbolic economy, the so-called creative and knowledge industries, as well as the emergence of new organisation and production dynamics in traditional industrial and services sectors. Besides, governance innovations refer to the creation of new forms of interrelation between economic, political and social actors that allow combine competitiveness and social cohesion. By comparing Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia, the project seeks analysing social, political and economic features that allow the emergence of these forms of innovation, and how these forms fit in the historical development of the territory. The departing hypotheses are the following:

  1. The 4 city-regions offer spaces for dialogue between scientific community, society, productive sectors and administration.
  2. There exist new forms of symbolic production that allow open innovation, new forms of employment and funding in the creative and knowledge sectors in the four city-regions.
  3. There exists continuity in urban policies and their governance formulas after the crisis in the four city-regions.
  4. Tradtional sectors must reinvent adopting new formulas that include aspects linked to social and economic innovation.

I am participating in this project with Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway (team coordinator), Lídia Garcia-Ferrando, Montse Simó Solsona, Joaquín Turmo Garuz and Juan Vidaechea, all of them members of the research group CRIT

More information on the project here

Convocatòria de Recerca Pasqual Maragall (2014-2015)

The foundation Catalunya-Europa has awarded the project “El paper del municipalisme de Pasqual Maragall en la governança de Catalunya” with a grant for its development. The proejct analyses the role of the former mayor of Barcelona Pasqual Maragall, who became also president of the Autonomous Community of Catalunya between 2003 and 2006. The project analyses the role of Pasqual Maragall in the consolidation of  the current multi-level governance framework for the Barcelona Metropolitan Region.


Post-doc research: Urban Governance and innovation in local economic development-The case of Berlin

This project aims to understand the link between urban governance and the emergence of innovative and inclusive forms of urban renewal and economic development through the analysis of two case studies: Berlin and Barcelona. With this comparison we will be in better conditions to understand the emergence of bottom-linked initiatives, that is, socially innovative practices developed through forms of collaboration between civil society and local authorities.

I am currently analysing the historical development of Berlin focusing on the district of Kreuzberg, where there is a tradition of contestation and counterculture. I try to understand the dynamics between this movements and the growing cultural sectors in the neighbourhoods. I want to analyse also what is the role of the district authorities, elected directly by the citizens and with certain power in planning.

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 Former projects (selection)

Social Polis (2009-2011)

Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion was an innovative research project because it crossed the boundaries of the academic world and took the knowledge and experience of practitioners seriously. Social Polis is an open social platform for dialogue between scientific and policy communities as well as civil society organizations and networks on priorities for research on Cities and Social Cohesion. It is a forum for debates on economy, polity, society, culture and ethics across the city as a whole and in a variety of ‘urban’ life spheres. It provides for joint workshops and conferences at which research agendas and modes for future joint research will be developed.

More informaton on the project here

Katarsis Coordinated Action (2007-2009)

KATARSIS was  a Coordination Action (CA) under European Commission Framework-6 Programme, coordinated by Global Urban Research Unit (GURU), at the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK. The coordinating team was led by Prof Frank Moulaert and Prof Jean Hillier.

Katarsis built a platform on which research teams specialised in the study of the consequences of growing inequality and social exclusion will exchange their knowledge and work towards a better integration of their research programmes and methodologies.

More information on the project here