The Open City Initiative

The Open City Initiative is a new global network of transdisciplinary education, research, and societal partnerships. The focus is on issues related to cities as open frontier spaces that belong to everyone, and urban studies that are widely open to any discipline. In the face of current events (e.g. BLM, climate crises, pandemic-lockdown, widespread urban evictions) in established cities and the rapid pace of urbanisation across continents, there is an increasing need for an open platform to tackle the urgent societal questions regarding inclusivity, sustainability, and ‘openness’ of urban spaces and research. To provide such a platform, the Initiative has joined forces from geographers, urban planners, anthropologists, humanity and international development scholars at Utrecht University. The initiative also collaborates closely with the Transforming Cities Hub of the Pathways to Sustainability

The Initiative will be launched through a series of webinars and workshops planned in two weeks from March 16 to March 26. They will provide an opportunity for sharing and exchange of knowledge about the Open City. A wide range of academic and nonacademic speakers will be present, such as NGOs, activists, researchers and students.

Who we are 

The organization of the initiative is led by: Abigail Friendly, Kei Otsuki, Francesca Pilo’ (Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning); Martijn Oosterbaan (Department of Anthropology), and Babette Berrocal (Centre for Global Challenges, UGlobe) at Utrecht University.


If you have any questions regarding one of our events, please feel free to contact us by e-mail through:

Webinar & Workshop descriptions