“Empowering the Local for Enhancing Cohesion and Spatial Justice in Europe” Date: 15th March 2021…
The RELOCAL project was originally to be finalized at the end of September 2020. However, as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project received an extension until May 2021. The Project Consortium will still deliver five Deliverables (including its report on policy recommendations), but the main focus during the remainder of the project will be on dissemination, communication and exploitation activities.
In the following, these key activities until May 2021 are presented.
RELOCAL ONLINE WEBINAR SERIES
The RELOCAL consortium is organizing a series of four webinars that focus on different topics that have been addressed by project. These topics will be elaborated through the lens of case studies selected from the entire set of 33 case studies carried out during the course of the project.
In addition to presentations by RELOCAL consortium members, there will be commentaries by EU-level representatives from, among others, the EU Commission and the European Parliament. The preliminary list of webinars is as follows:
- Webinar 1 (23rd November 2020) || Understanding perceptions of spatial injustices: how can it provide a key for developing policies to solve them? Further info can be found here
- Webinar 2 (January 2021) || (Un)even partnerships?: inter-municipal co-operation and competition for spatial justice (tbc)
- Webinar 3 (February 2021) || Top-down vs bottom-up approaches in promoting place-based and participative action (tbc)
- Webinar 4 (April 2021) || The value to policy experimentation (tbc)
RELOCAL POLICY CONFERENCE
We will organize the main RELOCAL Policy Conference in an online format in March 2021. The aim of the conference is to share and discuss policy-relevant results of 4 years of research. To do so, we invite citizens, NGO activists, civil servants, elected representatives acting at local, national and European levels, to express and share experiences, questions and challenges on making European policies for cohesion more equitable.
The main question that we will address during the Policy Conference is: How can we make Europe both spatially and socially just? To do so, we strive during the conference to create a horizontal space of dialogue between those who analyse, those who conceive, and those who implement local development policies in different contexts, regardless of whether they rely directly on EU funds or not.
RELOCAL FINAL ACADEMIC CONFERENCE
At the end of the RELOCAL project, in May 2021, a Final Academic Conference will be organized in a hybrid fashion, i.e. with a possibility to participate on location in Joensuu, Finland, or online via video conferencing tools.
The aim of this final conference is to invite scholars to present and discuss insights on the future of place-based Cohesion Policy and related actions. We will debate social, territorial and institutional aspects of spatial justice and place-based development. One central question, for example, regards the potential contribution of local stabilisation strategies to wider European cohesion and the achievement of greater and more flexible policy focus on communities. We will also discuss political challenges facing a greater place-based policy focus. A call for papers will be launched on the RELOCAL homepage in December 2020.
In addition to these events, the RELOCAL team is busy reporting the findings of the project in a number of academic publications. This includes:
- The RELOCAL Special Issue Place-based Development and Spatial Justice in the European Planning Studies journal. The Special Issue will be published in summer 2021 and focuses on the question whether spatial justice, as a fair and equitable distribution of socially valued resources and the opportunities to use them across places and time, can be achieved through place-based strategies.
- A RELOCAL book on Spatial Justice and Cohesion: The Role of Place-Based Action will be published by Routledge in 2021