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 Smart Cities UB Chair 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.
In summary, this research focus on questions such as:
  • What makes cities be competitive? What works for urban development?
  • What is the impact of transportation networks on cities’ growth? On urban sprawl? Or on cities’ congestion?
  • Do commuting costs affect labour market outcomes and the shape of cities?
  • Do transportation policies have an impact on the social cohesion in cities?
  • Are local job creation policies successful?
  • Is the local governance quality affecting citizens’ welfare?
The Smart Cities UB Chair challenges are:
 Promote research, debate and share knowledge through seminars and Visiting Professors from top universities.
  • Work side by side with top urban researchers in order to encourage excellence and internationalization in the research.
  • Organize several Workshops and Summer Schools on Urban Economics in order to stimulate the knowledge and the importance for cities of being smart.
  • Propose new research projects in order to make cities more competitive and better laces to live.