Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino

In this timely Handbook, seventeen renowned contributors from Asia, the Americas and Europe provide chapters that deal with some of the most intriguing and important aspects of research methodologies on cities and urban economies.
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Chapter 3: Comparative urban studies in Europe: an introduction to the Euricur method

Alexander Otgaar and Leo van den Berg


In 1988 the cities of Barcelona and Rotterdam, together with Erasmus University Rotterdam, established Euricur: an acronym for the European Institute for Comparative Urban Research. The objective of this institute was – and still is – to carry out international comparative studies into matters that are of interest to cities. Its mission is to act as a think tank for the Eurocities Association that was created in 1986: helping to put cities on the agendas of national and European policy makers and stimulating the exchange of knowledge and experience between cities. In more than two decades (1988–2011) Euricur carried out case studies in more than one hundred cities, mostly in Europe but also in the US, Canada, South Africa, China and South Africa. In the present chapter we describe the research method employed by Euricur: a method that gradually evolved during the years and which has not been described extensively elsewhere. We explain how research can be carried out in cooperation with cities and the private sector without compromising academic standards.

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