RELOCAL will undertake a critical review of the literature and develop a theoretical framework for the project examining the links and tensions between territorial cohesion, sustainable development and spatial justice in Europe at times of crisis and the role of regionalism and localism in this context. In particular, it will develop a theoretical framework for the project through a critical review of the concepts and models of territorial cohesion, spatial justice, solidarity and sustainable development; an examination of the links and tensions between these concepts and models in Europe; and an examination of the links and tensions between these concepts and the concepts and models of regionalism and localism in Europe.
On a second stage, to measure and describe possible regional inequalities across Europe and over time, and in this way provide a better understanding of the linkages between regional conditions and socio-economic outcomes and the spatial (in)justice, the project will explore socio-economic disparities at the regional level making use of existing data sources to provide an overview of patterns and changes in spatial inequalities at the level of EU regions. It defines a methodology to measure and analyse territorial cohesion and measure and map territorial developments at different regional scales; measure, analyse and map spatial inequalities over time at the level of EU regions, with an emphasis on the recent period since 2008 economic crisis; analyse patterns of social and economic of regional disparities across Europe and within countries across a number of indicators.
The findings will thus allow cross-country comparison of different concepts of local/regional development and territorial governance across Europe to address challenges related to spatial justice, territorial cohesion and solidarity.