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Urban and Regional research centre Utrecht
Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

The Urban and Regional research centre Utrecht (URU) is part of the Faculty of Geosciences of the Utrecht University. This faculty is the largest geography faculty in Europe in terms of students and personnel. It is very broadly oriented; its subjects include housing, economic geography, international economy, geographical information systems, spatial and social segmentation, environmental studies, traffic and spatial developments, planning studies and demography.

International comparative research is one of the main activities. Many of the research results have been published in international scientific journals and books. The international orientation of URU can further be shown by the participation of its members in international research groups (COST, MOST, European Science Foundation) and in European projects (4th- and 5th-Framework projects). Visiting professors from abroad are regularly invited.

All research within URU is based on geographical and related theories (sociological, economical), but one of its main assets has always been its strong links with policy and practice. Many research activities have been carried out for local governments, regional bodies and ministries and have resulted in policy recommendations. URU is part of the national research school NETHUR (Netherlands Graduate School of Housing and Urban Research).