What is Social Polis?

Social Polis: Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion

Social Polis is an open social platform for dialogue between scientific and policy communities as well as civil society organizations and networks on priorities for research on Cities and Social Cohesion. It is a forum for debates on economy, polity, society, culture and ethics across the city as a whole and in a variety of ‘urban’ life spheres. It provides for joint workshops and conferences at which research agendas and modes for future joint research will be developed. Social Polis will make four substantive contributions to research on urban dynamics in Europe:

  • a focussed, critical state of the art in research on cities and social cohesion;
  • a research agenda for the 7th Framework Programme;
  • establishment of a social platform uniting the research and stakeholders communities in furthering urban studies and research;
  • the production of educational resources for analysing the challenges of urban cohesion.

The overall objective of Social Polis is twofold: to elaborate a research agenda on cities and social cohesion which focuses especially on the role of cities in social cohesion, and on the key related policy questions, and in doing this to create a platform where stakeholders and researchers can contribute their views and discuss what that agenda should be.

The specific objectives are:

  • Building from the experience of FP4, 5 and 6, as well as other national and international research programmes inside and outside Europe, to establish an open multi-layered network of stakeholders active within different spheres of society involved in or affected by research, practice and policy regarding ‘Cities and Social Cohesion’, as well as researchers, which will encourage a wide range of views;
  • The production of a number of strategic texts covering all main themes which will lead to a coherent research agenda backed by as wide a range as possible of significant stakeholders;
  • To support specific objective 2 on the basis of a State of the Art review of research themes, results and methods regarding social cohesion and the city. This will identify specific gaps and opportunities for further research.
  • To establish a more long-lasting Social Platform that will sustain and promote research on ‘Cities and Social Cohesion’ with the close involvement of different types of stakeholders.
  • To create a wider awareness of research on the issues of cities and social cohesion, especially to stakeholders as well to researchers in general. This will include both an awareness of the results of research in the field and of the existence of ongoing research in the area.

Relevant texts you can download from the website

The Focused Research Agenda is one of the main outcomes of this project. Researchers, policy makers, planners and NGO representatives have collectively formulated the topics and challenges in this Focused Research Agenda. The topics identified in this agenda need to be researched in the future for producing socially relevant knowledge for fostering social cohesion in European cities.
A complete brochure presenting the Focused Research Agenda was produced. This document includes the final version of the Research Agenda, the research priorities emerged from the 12 Existential Fields plus alternative proposals of Research Agenda that were discussed during the progress of the platform. It is aimed at international, national, regional and local research funders, researchers and other interested groups.
You can download it at the following link:

The brochure "Transdisciplinary Research in Social Polis" brings some arguments in favour of transdisciplinarity, discusses concrete practical issues, presents and analyzes how transdisciplinary methodology was employed in Social Polis. It attempts also to draw out some future perspectives for transdisciplinary research and to identify the challenges and the opportunities in the next few years.
You can download it at the following link:

The Social Polis platform financed stakeholders to produce 4 different
multimedia educational resources, aimed at popularizing the outcome
of the project. You can find them at: