Urban Governance and Social Innovation


European study into area-based entrepreneurial collectives


In Amsterdam, but certainly in other places as well, the number of area-based entrepreneurial collectives (ABcitiEs) is growing. These collectives positively impact their respective neighbourhoods and therefore the entire cities. In what ways can city and government officials best support these collectives? What works – and what definitely doesn't? And what can other European cities teach us in this regard?


The ABCitiEs project deals with Area-Based Collaborative Entrepreneurship, or in other words, neighbourhood-based partnerships between business owners, surrounding residents and other stakeholders. In this context, ‘collaborative entrepreneurship’ refers to cooperating business owners in a shopping centre or street, an artists’ collective or partnerships in connection with logistics or energy supply.


The purpose of the study is to facilitate the government's efforts to help local entrepreneurial collectives flourish (and continue to flourish). To that end, we are looking not only at the dynamic between the collectives and the government, but the dynamic within each of the collectives as well. The study is being subsidised by Interreg Europe, an organisation funded by the EFRO, the European Fund for Regional Development, which supports inter-regional cooperation on the continent.

Four cities

The Centre of Expertise Urban Governance and Social Innovation is lead partner of the study, which it is conducting in close cooperation with the City of Amsterdam and four other European cities: Zagreb, Vilnius, Manchester and Athens. Learning from and with one another is the central focus of this research project. We will collect data through observation, interviews and knowledge events involving our stakeholders, both local and international.

Case studies

Each European region is exploring multiple case studies. In Amsterdam, we are focusing on four such studies: The Knowledge Mile, Geef om Jan Eef, Plein 40-45 and Noorderpark Onderneemt. Subsequently, we will have a period of two years to draft new policy via action plans and to then actually implement and evaluate those policies.

ABCitiEs: The Power of Collective Action

14 May 2020

Project Info

Start date 01 Jun 2018
End date 01 Jun 2022