The Future of Urban Networks

Symposium on
The Future of Urban Network Research

Research on the topic of urban networks now extends across many social and natural science disciplines (e.g. geography, sociology, engineering, physics) and over many scales of analysis from the intensely local formation of social networks among neighbours to the regional formation of transportation networks to the global formation of transnational economic networks. This rapid growth in the size, scope, and scale of urban network research has left the area invigorated, but without a clear agenda for future work. Specifically, there are two major questions confronting urban network researchers. First, which theoretical and analytic approaches in the extant literature have been successful and warrant further development, and which should be abandoned or require revision? Second, what existing topics warrant continued investigation and what new issues and research questions could benefit from an urban network perspective?

With sponsorship from the Urban Studies Foundation, Michigan State University, and Universiteit Gent, we began to develop some preliminary answers at a 2017 Symposium in Ghent. However, the conversation continues and we invite all scholars at all career stages and from all disciplines to participate. On this site, you will find details about the 2017 Symposium, details about opportunities to participate, and links to new research and resources. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please contact us at