Expert visit “Advances in urban development analysis”

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On February 2nd, 2023 the Faculty of Economics, University of Niš has hosted the first of the expert series of lectures on regional economy, as a part of the UR-DATA project to promote state-of-the-art knowledge on sustainable urban growth and development in our scientific and business communitiy. In the packed Congress hall of the University of Niš, the audience had a unique opportunity to hear from some of the most renowned economists in the field as they share their insights and expertise on how to boost the regional economy and create opportunities for all. The event has attracted a large number of researchers from different fields, representatives of local and regional policy-makers, business community and media, as well as a significant number of phd students. This event has confirmed the significance of the UR-DATA project for the local development of the City of Niš and indicated that the success of the project will be even more pronounced than expected.

The program of the expert visit included the following lectures:

  • Measurement of City Love by Peter Nijkamp, PhD, Open University, The Netherlands, member of the UR-DATA Science Advisory Board
  • The ESPON Territorial Quality of Life Approach: how it fits to the UR-DATA purpose by Carlo Sessa, PhD, ISINNOVA’s Research Director, Rome, Italy, member of the UR-DATA Science Advisory Board
  • Smart Cities by Karima Kourtit, PhD, Open University, The Netherlands
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Peter Nijkamp

Dutch economist and long-time professor at the Vrije Universiteit from Amsterdam, as well as one of the 100 leading world economists, with expertise in the field of regional and urban economy. His main research interests cover quantitative plan evaluation, regional and urban modelling, multicriteria analysis, transport systems analysis, mathematical systems modelling, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, environmental and resource management and sustainable development. In the past years he has focussed his research in particular on new quantitative methods for policy analysis, as well as on spatial-behavioural analysis of economic agents. He has a broad expertise in the area of public policy, services planning, infrastructure management and environmental protection.

Carlo Sessa

Italian economist, long-time associate and doctoral student of Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief. He is one of the founders and research director of the ISINNOVA Institute from Rome, and his area of expertise is models for assessing and managing the quality of life in urban, but also less developed border regions. He has extensive experience in coordinating EU research projects, particularly in the fields of transport, energy, environment, and urban governance. His approach is bringing together industry experts and citizens to discuss future scenarios and challenges, with a view to increasing public awareness of science and technology, and he leads several participatory projects to this end. Amongst his notable achievements, Carlo Sessa developed a grant allocation methodology that is used by local authorities, including the Italian Ministry of the Interior.

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Karima Kourtit

Dutch economist with profound interest in an operational analysis of complex socio-economic, managerial and spatial (urban and regional) issues, mainly from an applied or quantitative perspective. Her research started off from strategic performance management, then moved on to urban migration and ethnic entrepreneurship problems, and culminated in recent years in a new interest in the functioning and governance of cities (creative, sustainable and smart cities). Karima Kourtit has been an editor of several books published with well-known publishers and a guest editor for special issues of many international peer-reviewed journals. She has extensively published a wide array of scientific articles, papers, special issues of journals and edited volumes in the field of socio-economic geography, spatial sciences, and urban management. She is at the present also managing director of The Regional Science Academy (TRSA).