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RELOCAL Case Studies on Spatial Justice

Conducting fieldwork in 33 case studies constitutes the empirical core of the RELOCAL project. In order to decide cases among the large variety of intriguing localities all over Europe, it has been developed two-step procedure. The first phase is the so-called ‘pilot phase’ where eight cases are analysed: these pilots are suggested on the basis of the main ambitions as well as local knowledge of the partners responsible for empirical case study work. Further considerations of welfare regimes, social systems as well as the larger region’s socioeconomic background will be included when the final choice is made. Finally, field work in the pilot cases starts in October 2017. The second phase begins in Spring 2018 with the remaining 25 cases. This phase is essentially based on the experiences and interim results of the pilots.


Smart Country Side – Ostwestfalen-Lippe

This action aims to contrast demographic challenges with a regional action program based on digitalisation through a provision of multimedia infrastructure and training of the local population.

Second Attempt: Centre for Youth and Socioculture – Görlitz

What impact can place-based local actions have on a fair and equitable distribution of resources – and opportunities to use them – within a locality? This report looks at an example of a Centre for Youth in Görlitz to find an answer.


Action Plan for the Promotion of Quality of Life in a Segregated Neighbourhood – Premià de Dalt

An initiative from the Catalan government  increase the opportunities of the residents of Santa Maria/Santa Anna-Tió through the development of social programmes and improve the public space through an comprehensive urban intervention.

La Mina Neighbourhood Transformation Plan – Barcelona

A case study of one of the most deprived communities in Barcelona, that retraces a plan to revitalise the urban and social fabric while including its residents in the decision making process.

Monistrol 2020 Strategic Plan – Monistrol de Monserrat

Monistrol de Monserrat is reviewed as an example of success in redefining existing social and natural resources in order to combat many of the same problems affecting small European towns, all the while fostering a positive local perspective.

Association of Municipalities for a Coordinated Local Development – Eix de la Riera de Caldes

As this region left a period of high concentration of economic and industrial activities, it established the Association of Municipalities of Eix de la Riera de Caldes in order to provide a better, more coherent services to local residents and, unintentionally, provide a tool to increase the negotiation capacity with higher administrative levels.


Give Kids a Chance programme – Encs

In an area characterized by small villages in economic decline, selective outmigration, very high unemployment rate, and low level educational attainment, the Give Kids a Chance programme was designed to better living conditions of the children and families.

Ten Years of Urban Regeneration in a Poor Neighbourhood – György-telep

An analysis of a project that seeks a long term solution to spatial and social injustice in an disadvantaged former mining colony with extremely high ratio of substandard flats, very low level of education, and high levels of unemployment

The Balaton Uplands Local Action Group – Balaton Uplands

The implementation of the LEADER Programme in Batalon is explored for its achievements in development measures, wishful use of human resources, and the results in tackling spatial inequality.

The Producer Organisation – Szentes

This case study explores if this variant of co-operation organization, which is supported by the EU Common Agricultural Policy, can or cannot prevent rural pauperisation by defending small-holders’ interests.


Rotterdam South: Nationaal Programma Rotterdam Zuid – Rotterdam

In order to combat special injustice resulting from spatially segregated households, stakeholders from government educational institutes and local businesses came up with the Nationaal Programma Rotterdam Zuid to coordinate the actions of its members.

Confronting the Impact of Induced Earthquakes – Northeast Groningen

This case study report analyses spatial justice in the wake of frequent earthquakes that occur in the region of Northeast Groningen, the Netherlands. These earthquakes are man-made, induced by the extraction of natural gas in the region.


Micro-Regional Association Mara-Natur – Maramures County

One of 239 groups associated with LEADER, Mara-Natur is an association that offers funding for a variety of local projects. Regardless of the setbacks related to bureaucracy, it has spurred great benefits for the community.

The Mălin-Codlea project – Brașov County

Although this project titled “Accountability of citizens in the field of housing” aimed to repair the injustice in the community by working with ownership of the land, it ended up re-creating injustice among the community.

Integrated Plan for Urban Development for the Area Plumbuita – Bucharest

A ‘long term strategy for area development aiming at job market and economic growth’ through micro-urban regeneration and restoration of the defined area of District 2 in the capital of Romania. Nevertheless, it ended up implementing a video surveillance system that re-enforced the stigmatization of the poorest.

The Pata Cluj project – Cluj-Napoca

‘Pata-Cluj’ was an action that targeted this disadvantaged area with the aim “to prepare the social inclusion of the communities located in Pata Rât and Cantonului are”. Even though it has seen positive immediate effects, it has seen no long term contribution in quality of living conditions.


Lieksa 2030 Development Strategy – Lieksa

As this Finnish rural town tries to level of vitality, viability, and its socio-economic position, it will look to structural changes in government and distinct economic policies, through its Lieksa Development Strategy 2030, to provide long term and sustainable solutions.

Community-led local development – Kotka

This case study follows a community-led local development (CLLD), supported by the European Social Fund, in a city deeply affected by structural changes, two recessions, and the subsequent plethora of problems that it entailed.


The Special Development Programme – Western Macedonia

This case study is an example in how a local energy production can be successful, but its achievements can be hindered by lack of leadership, a “one size fits all” approach, and a focus on the next election cycle.

The Alexander Innovation Zone – Thessaloniki

An analysis of the functional dynamics of the institutions and enterprises in the Alexander Innovation Zone, and whether a “top-down” or “bottom-up” approaches can coexist in order to guarantee spatial justice.

Ecosystem of Collaboration – Karditsa

In response to the perceptions of social and economic injustices in Karditsa, the Local Development Agency created a mechanism that supports a network of collective actions called the Ecosystem.

Kallikratis: Overcoming Fragmentation in Territorial Governance – Volos

This case study analyses the effects of “Kallikratis”, a reform expanded significantly the limits and the jurisdiction of the new Municipality of Volos and whether it has helped the city deal better with the challenges it and provide better services to its citizen.


Participatory Budget – Lodz

In this case study, Lodz serves as an example in participatory budgets by using it as one of the tools implementing the Development Strategy of Łódź 2020+ within locally driven projects focused on building human capital, local awareness and spatial change.

“Communal Services” Social Cooperative – Brzenziny

An example of a broadly defined process of revitalisation of local resources, combining technical activities (renovation, modernization and revalorisation) with social and economic activities.

Rural Public Spaces – Domachowo, Potarzyce and Stara Krobia

A case study of three Polish villages that recognizes their achievements in creation of social ties, the emergence of new initiatives, and local connectivity of previously uncommunicated areas and sectors.

The Goth Village Thematic – Masłomęcz

A unique example of a community that has redefined the relationship between its identity and strong place attachment in order to provide a well needed economic, social, and cultural boost.


Constructing an Eco-Cité: The EPA Alzette-Belval – Northern Lorraine

In the context of deindustrialization and a workforce that has been driven to nearby Luxembourg, the EPA is unique French state-led agency with the capacity to “take back” responsibility for planning from other administrative levels to plan specific areas.

Euralens – Pas-de-Calais

In a combined effort from various sectors of society, this former French mining region looks to catalyse bottom-up local development and creating an innovative way for local governance.


Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group – Northumberland

A volunteer-led and run rural sustainability action focused on funding a sparsely inhabited uplands area that has been structurally constrained.

A Homelessness Project: The PLACE/Ladywell ‘pop-up village’ – Lewisham

In response to the homelessness crisis in London, a high-profile temporary scheme named PLACE/Ladywell ‘pop-up village’ that provides a temporary, modular, fully demountable and movable structure that can last around 60 years. This report analyses its ups and downs.

Strengthening Communities on the Isle of Lewis – Western Isles

Analyses on how place-based interventions, carried out under the remit of one of HIE’s core priority areas have tackled spatial inequalities on Lewis, which is part of the Western Isles, located off the west coast of Scotland.


Digital Västerbotten – Västerbotten County

Like many other rural areas in Europe today following a similar trend of depopulation and a weakening economy, this case study gives insights to how digital solutions can facilitate cooperation between municipalities and thereby reduce costs and share competence.

The Commission for a Socially Sustainable Stockholm – Stockholm

A review of the implementation of the Stockholm Commission, in a city that, although an internationally competitive city and successful in a number of economic terms, suffers from severe and deepening segregation.

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