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The Cities Research Programme has as its primary goal the study of the role of cities as engines of prosperity. The different lines of research currently being developed address such critical questions as the determinants of city growth and the social relations established in them, agglomeration economies as a key element for explaining the productivity of cities and their expectations of growth, the functioning of local labour markets and the design of public policies to give appropriate responses to the current problems cities face.

The programme has become an international point of reference and provides support to the activities of a group of researchers, including both its own and associate members. The Programme has been made possible thanks to support from the IEB Foundation and the Chair on Urban Economics City of Barcelona at the UB (funded by the Barcelona City Hall).



The program is led by the researchers Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal and Jordi Jofre-Monseny.

Chair on Urban Economics City of Barcelona at the UB

The efficient size of the cities, the level of urbanization, the type of infrastructures connecting them, the running of their local labor markets and the performance of neighborhoods are key issues that have to be understood to be able to design the right policies to help the improvement of cities’ competitiveness. Recently, this kind of policies are analyzed under the heading of “smart city”


The Chair on Urban Economics City of Barcelona at the UB research agenda proposes several research lines with the final goal of obtaining results that help to better understand the specific problems of cities and to design urban policy initiatives that contributes to foster their competitiveness and social cohesion.



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