The CLOSER CITIES project is a non-profit initiative, based on partnerships and cross-border collaboration: with knowledge institutions, NGOs, municipalities, governmental institutions and the private sector.

Founding partners

The CLOSER CITIES project was established by four founding partners: the Erasmus Initiative 'Vital Cities and Citizens’ (Erasmus University Rotterdam), the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities and Nesselaar Urban Consultancy. Alongside the founding partners, CLOSER CITIES is always open for collaboration with other organisations and individuals. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to explore possible opportunities.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam

In today’s rapidly changing world, society expects engagement with universities to tackle complex societal challenges together. Erasmus University Rotterdam is committed to being fully engaged with society, taking responsibility and proposing solutions for the society of the future. Our mission is: to create positive societal impact. We do it 'the Erasmian way'.

Vital Cities and Citizens

Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens

With the Erasmus Initiative ‘Vital Cities and Citizens’, Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to help improve the quality of life in cities. In vital cities, the population can achieve their life goals through education, useful work and participation in public life. The vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, a safe meeting place for different social groups.
“Cities can be seen as interesting living labs to study the complexity of today’s societal challenges. Vital Cities and Citizens demonstrates that scientific knowledge and societal relevance can go hand in hand.” Professor Victor Bekkers, Dean Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

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Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

The approach of IHS is based on the cross-fertilization of our main three activities: education, advisory services and applied research. By being involved in different core activities at the same time, IHS urban specialists are able to create strong links between theory and practice. IHS staff members spend a substantial amount of time working in the field and they possess applicable expertise within the context of different countries they have worked in. This way, they provide support, training and services that are relevant for course participants and clients. Inputs drawn from the advisory and research activities are reflected also in the classroom, where course participants benefit from the rich knowledge and professional background of the lecturers.

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Leiden Delft Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities

The Centre for BOLD Cities is a research collaboration between Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. It focuses on the possibilities and challenges of using big, open and linked data for urban governance. Looking into both the perspective of urban citizens and citymakers, the Centre for BOLD Cities connects researchers from various disciplines, such as data science, sociology and public administration. In addition, the Centre collaborates with societal and governmental partners on a regular basis. As such, the Centre for BOLD Cities aims to help transform the ‘smart city’ into the ‘shared city’, in which concerns and ideas of all stakeholders are equally considered.

Nesselaar Urban Consultancy

Nesselaar Urban Consultancy

Nesselaar Urban Consultancy is specialised in city marketing and creative urban ideas. We are committed to contributing to the development of more attractive and liveable cities. We are passionate about cities. The common thread that runs throughout our work is the creation of positive impact through sharing - sharing expertise, sharing inspiration, sharing creative formats. We are inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals. We connect with SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals).

Interested to partner with us?

If you would like to become a partner of the CLOSER CITIES project, or would like to know more about the possibilities and benefits of a partnership, please get in touch by filling out the form on the contact us page or by sending an e-mail (