We believe that the production of critical knowledge is the foundation for identifying the possible avenues for change and impact. Thus, we see our academic activity as a way of creating a knowledge base on which we build our practical, policy-related work and other forms of public engagement. In the past years, our research has focused on the issue of uneven social and spatial relations; on how migration and urban transformations affect each other; on the connectedness of financial markets and housing markets (including the issue of household debt); on the relation of structural shifts in the economy and urban development; and on the past and present of state interventions in the field of (social) urban regeneration.
In the framework of our policy work and public engagement we have contributed to writing integrated urban development strategies and anti-segregation plans (both obligatory documents for cities of a certain size) of several cities. We have also played a determinant role in the planning process of several European Union-funded projects related to social urban regeneration programs and to more general processes of urban development. We also engage in public debates and in consultancy work related to our applied research projects.
At the same time, we think it is important that public policy proposals do not remain in a closed group of consultants. Rather, their relevance should constantly be tested through communication with organizations working on the ground, in order to integrate their position and priorities. This is why we often organize workshops and coordinating meetings. We also aim to formulate public opinion and to contribute to ongoing debates. Thus, we give public lectures, participate in roundtable discussions, write press articles and produce visual material and accessible writings (often in collaboration with other organizations) on many occasions. In this way we aim to make the accumulated academic and professional knowledge accessible to a broad audience.