Welcome to urban answers

Founded by Robin Hambleton in 2007, Urban Answers works with partners in the UK and internationally to assist city leaders meet the public management and democratic renewal challenges they now face.

In a globalising and rapidly changing world, urban leaders and public service providers need to innovate as never before.

Our focus is innovation

• How to frame emerging challenges in new ways
• How to generate practical solutions
• How to draw lessons from abroad
• How to lead new initiatives and how to build support for change.


New book on Cities and communities
beyond COVID-19

Written during the summer of 2020 this new international book – Cities and communities beyond COVID-19. How local leadership can change our future for the better - focuses on how cities and communities can lead the way in developing recovery strategies that promote social, economic and environmental justice.  It offers new thinking tools for civic leaders and activists as well as practical suggestions on how we can co-create a more inclusive post COVID-19 future for us all.

Read more about Cities and communities beyond COVID-19


Leading the Inclusive City

Robin Hambleton has written a book providing vivid examples of successful civic leadership drawn from some of the most innovative cities in the world. Leading the Inclusive City. Place-based innovation for a bounded planet shows that imaginative place-based leadership can enable citizens to shape the urban future according to progressive values – advancing social justice, promoting care for the environment and bolstering community empowerment. The book, published by Policy Press in 2015, contains new ideas on how to lead cities and communities and provides many practical examples to illustrate the argument.

Read more about Leading the Inclusive City


Video of talk on place-based leadership

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences invited Robin Hambleton to speak at their conference on innovation in urban management. Held on 4 October 2016 in Amsterdam the conference attracted participants from across The Netherlands and further afield. The title of Robin’s presentation was Place-based leadership and the inclusive city: an international analysis.

To view Robin Hambleton’s presentation please click here


What is local government for?

Robin Hambleton was invited to speak at the 2013 Bristol Festival of Ideas on 15 May 2013. This conference, which took place at The Watershed in central Bristol, examined the future of local government and the central question addressed was: What is local government for? National figures concerned with UK local government addressed the conference, including Lord Michael Heseltine, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary. Several city leaders also addressed the conference, including Mayor George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol.

To view Robin Hambleton’s presentation please click here


Place-based leadership

Global forces are destroying communities across the world. This troubling trend is now meeting resistance. Local governments, social movements and reforming political parties are, in different ways, developing strategies for resisting the exercise of placeless power. Urban Answers is working to develop new ways of strengthening place-based leadership. Innovative localities in different parts of the world provide valuable insights on how to ensure that the processes of governance are more responsive to the needs of local communities.

Read more about place-based leadership


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