Executive Talk on Local Governance and Urban Resilience


During our Executive Talk with Anamaria Vrabie, director of Cluj-Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, we discussed the development of urban innovation labs and capacity mechanisms that can create a culture of innovation at the municipal level and address the growing challenges that cities and communities are facing in a time of rapidly growing urban agglomerations.

Anamaria shared with us her experience in developing and coordinating the Cluj Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, one of the first urban innovation labs in Eastern Europe, where innovation is seen as both as a means as well as a goal, and citizens are co-opted as both customers as well as co-creators of public services.


Anamaria Vrabie is a behavioural economist and leader of urban innovation practices with over 15 years of international experience. She is currently designing within Cluj Cultural Centre the development of Cluj-Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, the first of its kind in Eastern Europe, tackling urban mobility, urban resilience, and future work challenges. She is also co-founder of Urban INC, a think-tank advancing the practice of sustainable urban development since 2010. A native of Bucharest, she has set up and created new modes of action for delivering municipal innovation and has produced work for a range of organizations including the URBACT III programme, World Bank, the Urban Development Network, and the Urban Innovative Actions programme. She holds an MA in International Affairs as a Fulbright Scholar at The New School New York.


For more details about this, we invite you to read one of her most recent papers on public innovation published in the Journal of Open Innovation in 2020.