The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service professionals.


The Urban Affairs Association is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life.  Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. (Adopted March 12, 2010)


UAA is the successor organization to the Council of University Institutes for Urban Affairs, formed in Boston in 1969 by a group of directors of university urban programs. As urban affairs developed as a professional and academic field, the need for an organization that welcomed urban faculty, professionals, and students as well as urban program directors and deans became increasingly apparent. In recognition of this need, in 1981 the organization’s name was changed to the Urban Affairs Association. Today, UAA includes over 700 institutional, individual, and student members from colleges and universities throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Among its other activities, UAA sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs, a refereed annual journal, publishing manuscripts related to urban research and policy analysis of interest to both scholars and practitioners. All UAA members receive the Journal of Urban Affairs as part of their membership fee.

The Urban Affairs Association holds a conference each spring in an urban center. Recent conferences have taken place in Montréal, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, Honolulu, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Antonio, Miami, and San Diego. Future conferences will occur in Minneapolis (2017) and Toronto (2018). These yearly conferences are an integral part of UAA’s efforts to increase knowledge about urban places and promote the development of research activities. They provide an excellent opportunity for members to exchange ideas, information, and experiences. The conference program features both topics of institutional concern and those related to urban issues. Although formal papers are presented, with selected papers published, the conference format also allows opportunities for informal activities designed to foster professional networking and open discussion.

Strategic Goals

(adopted October 1, 2010)

  1. To foster education, professional development, and student mentoring in urban affairs;
  2. To foster and build the capacity among scholars, policymakers and other members of the community for collaboration on significant urban issues;
  3. To foster interdisciplinary scholarship on urban affairs;
  4. To offer a space for the examination of university engagement in urban communities such as service learning, engaged scholarship and university/community partnerships;
  5. To support university based urban affairs education, research and service; and
  6. To recruit, develop and sustain scholars to serve and influence the field of urban affairs and its institutions.