Igor Calzada

Associate and visiting staff

  • Current position 2016 Brussels Centre for Urban Studies Visiting Research Fellow
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University of Oxford, Future of Cities Programme & ESRC Urban Transformations, United Kingdom / Political Innovation, Independence & Smart Urban Transformations in Europe / From April to July 2016

Igor Calzada is a Research Fellow, Lecturer and Policy Adviser in the Future of Cities Programme and ESRC Urban Transformations at the University of Oxford (UK) and the University of Strathclyde (UK). He previously worked as Lecturer and Research Fellow at Aston University in Birmingham (UK), the University of Nevada (USA), the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Mondragon (Spain). He has been awarded with the following Fellowships and Research Projects, as follows: EU-H2020-Smart Cities and Communities ‘Replicate’ (2016-2020), EU-Marie Curie-Cofund Regional Pogrammmes (2015-2016), the RSA Regional Studies Association Early Career Grant (2014-2015), Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Ikerbasque, the Basque Science Foundation (2012-2014) and Spanish Prince National Doctoral Research Fellowship (2008-2009). He is currently completing a Routledge book manuscript on benchmarking city-regions.

Igor’s work compares social, technological, economic, democratic and political innovation processes in cities and regions by paying particular attention to cases and issues of regional and metropolitan devolution. In particular, he is focused on investigating European City-Region ( and Smart City benchmarking case studies through the application of qualitative and action research methods. This includes questions of the level of cooperation and political innovation between stakeholders in specific regional locations, and subsequent implications regarding city-regional governance strategies beyond nation-states. This raises questions about the regional and metropolitan devolution and the effects on the quest of self-determination in certain European regional locations (the UK, Spain and Belgium). How can smart urban transformations reinforce the role of cities and regions as relevant actors in the interdependent European territorial debate? Answers involve moving between comparative strategic analysis, with a particular focus on the dynamic configuration of city-regions and their direct effect on re-scaling the nature of the nation-state, at least in the European Union context. This includes cities and regions promoting politically innovative strategies, thus allowing smart urban transformations altering the traditional nation-state role.

During his 2016 visiting fellowship at the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies, Igor Calzada will work on political innovation and smart urban transformation initiatives in order to develop a comparative metropolitan and regional devolution case study of the UK (Glasgow and Bristol), Spain (Bilbao and Barcelona) and Belgium (Brussels). He will also use the fellowship period to prepare a workshop on ‘Political Innovations and Smart Urban Transformations,’ to be held in Brussels in July 2016.