In 1989 over forty European municipalities, research centers, universities and personalities within the European Community united in Pisa and founded the Network on Urban Research in the Europea Community (today European Union). Since then the international network has been working as NGO recognized by the UN in the field of comparative, interdisciplinary urban research.
Its organisational units are the administrative directorate, N.U.R.E.C., c/o Department for Statistics, Urban Research and European Affairs (Germany), the scientific directorate CNRS, c/o University of Paris (France) and the scientific directorate at the Faculty of Sociology, c/o University of Milan (Italy) as well as the N.U.R.E.C.-Institute Duisburg registered association, c/o Department for Statistics, Urban Research and European Affairs (Germany).
Although most N.U.R.E.C. – Members come from the European Union, the network is also open to non-European countries. Thus, for instance, in the time of the LCSP project over 1000 cities joined the network activities. This reflects the main focus of N.U.R.E.C., that mainly, but aligns itself not exclusive, at the urban habitats of Europe. The central importance of the system city within the European Union becomes clear, if one realises that 80% of all inhabitants of the EU do live in the urban centers of the community, which determine the development of the European integration as social, cultural, economic as well as political junctions. Thus in the context of intensification of the unification process the interdisciplinary and comparative urban research gains in importance since it supplies the databased understanding for all decision ranges that are concerned.