Re-Place – Reframing non-metropolitan left behind places through mobility and alternative development

Porto, 06 July 2023

Re-Place is a new Horizon Europe project to improve community quality of life in non-metropolitan areas throughout Europe.

The Re-Place project is set to explore the complex issues faced by peripheral non-metropolitan areas, which have been the subject of mixed narratives during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some people see these areas as struggling and left behind, others see them as offering a higher quality of life compared to big cities. Through participative research, Re-Place will examine the role that spatial mobilities play in the future of these places, and how it can be harnessed to improve these communities’ quality of life.

Focused on Left Behind Areas (LBA’s) throughout six European countries, including Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, the Re-Place project will implement a place-based research approach. This investigates how mobility can be leveraged to promote alternative local development, and contribute to the design of new policies that can reverse these trends.

The research explores how different mobility processes have led to growing disparities at a national scale, through the development of innovative LBA’s typologies, using as the key instrument a Local Human Development Index (LHDI). The project will focus on twelve case study areas, across the six countries, to gain a detailed understanding, at the local level, of the (im)mobility factors that contribute to their left behind state, and how these factors affect their socio-economic development. It will also use novel methods – including village labs and visual methods – to co-create policies to enhance the benefits of mobility and reinforce a sense of place and well-being for residents and newcomers alike.

With a budget of 2.9 million Euros, Re-Place will last four years and bring together seven partners from six different EU countries. The project started in March 2023, and is coordinated by IGOT – Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Territorio da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.

The Re-Place Kick-off meeting was held in Lisbon, laying the foundations for the project, in order to get it off the ground and start the implementation of the activities.

The Re-Place website is available at

Re-Place partners:

IGOT-UL – Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon | PT

UNIBA – Institute of Geography, University of Bamberg | DE

UNIROMA1 – European, American and Intercultural Studies, Sapienza University of Rome | IT

UNILV – Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia | LV

ICCV – Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy | RO

ULPGC – Research Institute of Text Analysis and Applications, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | ES

SPI – Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação | PT

For more information, please contact:

Coordinator: IGOT-UL (Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

Main contact: Jennifer McGarrigle



Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.