Urban managers must be Jacks and Jills of all trades

25 Apr 2022 13:41 | Urban Governance

What qualities and characteristics should an urban manager have? This is the focus of the EUREKA-European Urban Innovator: Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Report, which was published at the beginning of April. This report is a product of EUREKA, or the European Urban REgenerators Knowledge Alliance. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is one of the participating partners in the project.

Large cities are facing multifaceted issues and complex challenges in the areas of liveability, sustainability, inclusion, accessibility and safety. This requires a specific type of professional: an urban manager with strong social innovation skills. EUREKA was therefore launched to strengthen and internationalise training and education programmes in Europe.

Cross-border collaboration EUREKA is a three-year collaborative project that includes eleven knowledge institutions, government organisations and non-profit organisations from four countries: Spain, Romania, Italy and the Netherlands. The aim of the project is to identify the skills required of an urban manager and to develop a training programme that addresses labour market demands throughout Europe. The approach involves an exchange of knowledge and experience between international knowledge, culture and policy institutions, lecturers, students, researchers and urban professionals.

One of the first results is the EUREKA-European Urban Innovator: Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Report. This publication contains findings and observations about the current state of urban renewal across Europe. It is the result of several months of research into the needs, skills and available training opportunities regarding this topic, and provides an extensive overview of the current state of urban renewal and regeneration in various regions of Europe.

Multifaceted role

According to the report, an urban manager must be capable in various areas, such as conducting research, networking, fundraising and community management. These professionals must also have skills in both leadership and mediation.

Student exchanges

Project participants within AUAS include the Urban Management programme. Els Beukers, programme manager of the Master’s in Urban Management: "This project is a unique opportunity to work with partners in other European countries to examine what qualities today’s urban manager needs. We can use that knowledge to improve our curriculum. At the same time, the collaboration with Spain, Romania, Italy and Sweden offers possibilities for student exchanges and the internationalisation of our Master’s programme."