The Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research is a research centre within the Department of Geography of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and is dedicated to research and teaching in geography, spatial planning and urban design. Committed to pursuing both academic and practice relevant research, Cosmopolis actively engages policy makers, governments, citizen networks and other urban partners to transform knowledge into action.

A brief history

In the year 2000 Brussels was the European Capital of Culture. The university was present in the programme through different activities of science popularisation. Cosmopolis coordinated a project called Crossing Brussels, in which an urban laboratory (three transformed buses) visited neighbourhoods for a week-long fieldwork combining science, art and community involvement. It was clear from that moment that urban studies needed to engage with the full complexity of the city and that this would involve crossing the boundaries of academia as insitution and scientific disciplines.

Following this event, the group gradually established itself as an interdisciplinary research group analysing urbanity, processes of ‘glocalisation’ (globalisation and localisation) and the relationship between urban space, society and culture. Over the last fifteen years, Cosmopolis has continuously grown in size and is now an established centre of urban research situated in the heart of Europe.

Contact information

Postal address:
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Geography
Faculty of Sciences
Pleinlaan 2
BE-1050 Brussels


The Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research is located on the Etterbeek Campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All our offices are on the 4th floor of Building F on the Pleinlaan / Boulevard de la Plaine 2 campus. See the individual People profiles for exact room numbers.

For information about how to reach the VUB, please see Directions to the Etterbeek Campus.