The first initiatives aimed at relaunching reflections and scientific study on the theme of Urban Centers commenced between 2006 and 2007.
In these two years the representatives of the most active national structures and the research group of the Sapienza University of Rome, from which the Research Lab was born, led four meetings aimed at promoting the meeting of minds and exchange of current thinking:
- Urban Centers, comparing realities (UC Candiani 5 Venice, 23 June, 2006)
- Urban Centers: a hothouse for urban politics (UrbanPromo Venice, 9 November, 2006)
- Urban Center Network (a cura di Urban Center Metropolitano di Torino, 21-22 June, 2007)
- Evolutionary forms of conceptual social and technological interaction for urban visioning (UrbanPromo Venice, 23 November, 2007)
In particular, the two conferences promoted as part of the UrbanPromo exhibition in Venice represented an opportunity to reflect on the genesis, cultural patterns and evolutionary forms of the phenomenon delineating its perspective by comparing more established international experiences with the latest structures in Italy.
Following this, as part of the FORUM PA 2008, from the Urban Centers in Italy: theoretical paths, practical applications, new sinergies conference arose the idea of starting of a “research lab” for the study of the Urban Center phenomenon, with reference to the most relevant and significant experiences in Italy and overseas.
Beginning in 2009, the UC Research Lab has promoted new interpretative points of view for national Urban Centers, such as the seminar Don’t waste this crisis: the «ensemblier», the profile emerging from urban generation held on November 5th in Venice as part of the 6th UrbanPromo conference.
In 2010 a collaboration was held with the Verdiana Network team, coordinated by Professor Enrico Falque of the University of Florence, with the objective of creating a ‘road map’ for a network of national structures (revisiting the founding idea of the UC Network project put forward in 2007 by UCM Turin) via two events: Urban Center Live (Florence, 21-22 June, 2010) and the meeting In medio stat virtus (Venice, 28 Octobre, 2010, part of the 7th UrbanPromo conference).
Following this, during the last two UrbanPromo conferences held in Bologna, the UC Research Lab collaborated on two conferences with Urban Center Bologna: Urbancenter@Urbanpromo (10 November, 2011) and Urban Center Reloaded (8 November, 2012), in which representatives of national Urban Centers, as well as from other institutions and the voluntary sector, were invited to share their thoughts and experiences on the role of communication in urban transformation.