Boards of Partners : Who and Why?
The Observatory relies on a unique collaborative effort between cities and universities worldwide. Indeed, in each member city of the Observatory, a Board of Partners, composed of members of the city administration and the academic community, meets regularly to identify the most important initiatives on Living Together.
This may cover different areas of municipal action. In fact the Board of Partners includes practitioners and program managers in social and economic development, urban planning, culture, municipal policy development, etc. Their detailed knowledge of the municipal environment and urban settings allows member cities of the Observatory to benefit from the expertise they hold in the field.
Universities and the research community are the strength of the community. Their academic expertise and thoroughness of their analysis allow a critical and constructive dialogue towards initiatives taken in their city. They promote learning and a better understanding of issues related to living together.
So far more than a dozen cities in Europe, Africa and North America have created a Board of Partners for the Observatory. In some cases, the Board has even been formally established as a new organ of collaboration with the community. This new form of collaboration between cities and universities makes it possible both to identify and analyze in depth Living Together initiatives and also to produce original research (e.g. : case studies, thematic analysis) based on this dual expertise.
These researches, which will be madeavailable on the website of the Observatory beginning in September 2016, will provide a better understanding of the scope of the selected initiatives, and probably inspire other cities.