The conceptual framework of RELOCAL, as defined in March 2017, responds to the need to develop a theoretical framework for the project in which activities during it development can be coherently based, based on a critical review of the existing literature. The work is divided into 9 tasks which include the following:
- Critical review of the concepts of spatiality, especially in different institutional contexts. The concepts of spatiality vary widely in different contexts, withdirect implications about how policies are developed and implemented. This is reported in Chapter 1.1 “Space and Spatiality”
- Critical review of the concepts of social and spatial justice, particularly in relation to the European Social Model the European Social Model has been a central concept in the development of European Union and the recent call for its reform. This is reported in Chapter 1.2 “Social and Spatial Justice”.
- Critical review of the concepts and models of territorial cohesion and their relationship with the conditions of inequality in Europe. The recent economic crisis and longer term economic restructuring have led to growing inequality within and between regions. The links and tensions between territorial cohesion concepts and the growing inequality are analysed in Chapter 1.3 “Territorial Cohesion”
- Critical review of the concepts and models of sustainable development, especially when economic development concerns take central stage. In the context of the economic crisis, attention has often been focused on economic recovery. However, sustainability is a long-term goal of European policies. Links and tensions between the economic emphasis and sustainable development are explored in Chapter 1.4 “Sustainable Development”
- Critical review of the concepts of solidarity, especially in the conditions of economic crisis that tests the limits of solidarity. European solidarity has been the glue with which the construction of the European project has been made possible. The economic and migration crises, however, have challenged the existing patterns of solidarity. The conceptual foundations of solidarity, and the way it may be addressed in the context of these challenges is critically studied in Chapter 1.5 “Solidarity”.
- The relationship between the concepts of territorial cohesion, spatial justice, and sustainable development is reported in Chapter 1.6 “Territorial Cohesion, Spatial Justice and Sustainable Development”
- The relationship between the concepts of territorial cohesion and spatial justice with the concepts and models of regionalism and localism is reported in Chapter 1.7 “Territorial and spatial justice, regionalism and localism”.
- Chapter 1.8 brings all the earlier tasks together as a conceptual framework for RELOCAL, directly supporting all the other work in the project.