Ira.urban – International Research Association for Urban Studies in post-Soviet Space

With our project “Urban reconfigurations in post-Soviet space” we would like to establish an international research cooperation for urban studies in the successor states of the Soviet Union and lay down the foundation for interdisciplinary research projects and further scientific activities. The analyses and research are dedicated to processes of reconfiguration and redefinition of cities in post-Soviet space from a comparative perspective. The project’s central research questions are:

  • What discontinuities and continuities characterise urban development under the globalisation, trans-nationality and new nationhood conditions?
  • To what extent has urban development become part of a diverse societally-negotiated adjustment process?
  • According to what logics and development paradigms do cities in post-Soviet states reinvent themselves?


We aim for a network of researchers from different disciplines who actively engage in urban research in post-Soviet space. So far the project involves partners from institutions in eight countries (Belarus, France, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom) who work together to answer these questions from different perspectives. The network is open, new members and interested people are very welcome.

Besides establishing the international research network for urban studies in the post-Soviet space, acting beyond the project period (2013 – 2016) – the project includes further components :

  • A group of graduate students which is to be set up at the IfL is the second component of the project and is organizationally integrated into the ira.urban project. The junior scientists usually receive a stipend for 6 months in order to advance their PhD theses in one of the specified research fields. They can be supervised by the respective Leibniz fellows and can use the infrastructure of the partner institutes for research visits.
  • The exchange within the ira.urban network and with experts from further institutions is carried out via regular meetings, round tables and summer schools. In addition, the partners have agreed that they are generally available for the inclusion of scholars from ira.urban for the purpose of bilateral exchanges.
  • In order to compare the relevant processes of urban development in a transnational context, it is necessary to collect, standardise and interpret data and information from the affected countries. A key product will be a database of demographic, economic and social indicators at the level of cities in the countries involved.


Project sponsorship: Leibniz-Wettbewerb 2013 / Pakt für Forschung und Innovation (2013 -2016)

Further information:

  • Isolde Brade (head of the project) /              Tel.: +49 341 600 55-112 or
  • Irina Slepukhina                       /    Tel.: +49 341 600 55-158 or
  • Yuliana Lazova                          /            Tel.: +49 341 600 55-155




Post-Soviet cities with more than 50.000 inhabitants