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The RELOCAL project aims to identify factors that condition local accessibility of European policies, local abilities to articulate needs and equality claims and local capacities for exploiting European opportunity structures.

The persistence of territorial disparities in the European Union, coupled with the insecurity that economic crisis and austerity have generated and threaten the territorial cohesion across Europe. Therefore, RELOCAL departs from the basic premise that localities and their functional spaces represent the contextual nexus where the relationship between individuals and spatial justice unfolds. The local plays an important role in the promotion of fairness, spatial justice and well-being in Europe.

For this reason, the proposed project will relate through a bottom-up perspective local development situations to the wider context of European Cohesion, both as a process and policy framework.

This research will be based primarily on case studies of local contexts (urban and rural neighbourhoods, cities/towns and their regions, intermediate and peripheral rural areas) as they are embedded in broader territorial governance structures that exemplify development challenges in terms of spatial justice.

The main objectives of RELOCAL can be defined as follows:

  • New conceptual framework of territorial cohesion
  • Definitions of spatial justice
  • Evaluations of the substantive adequacy, local accessibility and development impacts
  • New policy and development models that bridge conflicts and trade-offs between regional development and governance models
  • New theoretical framework between regional autonomy, decentralization, local participation to spatial justice


Project Acronym RELOCAL
Full official name Resituating the Local in Cohesion and Territorial Development
Grant Agreement 727097
Programme HORIZON 2020
Topic Reversing Inequalities and Promoting Fairness
Call identifier H2020-SC6-REV-INEQUAL-2016
Duration 48 months (October 2016 – September 2020)
Project Officer Paloma Martín
Scientific Coordinator Dr. James W. Scott (KTL-UEF, Joensuu, Finland)
Project Coordinator Dr. Petri Kahila (KTL-UEF, Joensuu, Finland)
Participants UEF (Finland), ILS (Germany), UNEW (UK), UStockholm (Sweden), NORDREGIO (Sweden), Hutton (UK), HAS CERS (Hungary), TUD (Netherlands), Mcrit (Barcelona), UNILUX (Luxembourg), ULodz (Poland), Desire (Romania), UTH (Greece)
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