PoP Community


The urban challenge is primarily characterised by the need for integrated approaches and to translate research and innovation results to actions. The Public Officers and Practitioners (POP) Community enables local authorities and municipalities to translate global strategies into local action.

Public officers (or public servants or civil servants) are employees working in a public-service relationship in central or local government or elsewhere in the public administration, and answer to the government, not a political party.

Practitioners are, in principle, persons involved in building the urban governance structure and establishment of a supportive framework. Practitioners help developing policies and integrated systems through partnerships and cooperation with the government. Urban practitioners are defined as those individuals working the urban development industry in some capacity. They are key stakeholders in the development of urban projects and have the technical knowledge and (financial) resources to implement new projects.

The relationship between research and practitioner endeavour is not easy and straightforward – it needs deliberative attention from both researchers and practitioners to thrive. There are a range of barriers to effecting exchange and knowledge transfer in research and practitioner contexts. Some are general to broader social policy spheres and others are more particularly associated with urban planning.