Project Info

Re-Place (Reframing Non-Metropolitan Left Behind Places Through Mobility and Alternative Development) is a project co-funded by the European Union within the Horizon Europe program, with 7 partners from 6 European countries.

This project began on March 2023 and will last 4 years. It is under the lead of the Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território da Universidade de Lisboa (IGOT-UL).


The overall objective is to mobilize participative research in nonmetropolitan left-behind areas (LBAs), to examine the impact that spatial (im)mobility has on origin and destination areas and how it can be harnessed to improve local alternative development, cooperative building of human capital, wellbeing and sustainability across contexts.

This will be achieved through the 5 specific objectives, which represent a step-by-step methodology to ensure a rigorous and informed research process. The process will be constantly evaluated by the consortium and external advisors through a series of quantitative and qualitative measures.

Specific Objectives

Develop empirical tools

Develop empirical tools – namely a typology and an online representative population survey - to advance complex understandings of development pathways and mobility

Scale down

Scale down to 12 areas in 6 countries to examine the (im)mobility drivers and movement to and from different types of LBAs assessing ensuing spatial, economic, social, and cultural transformations

Qualitatively examine

Qualitatively examine perceptions and livelihood practices of (im)mobile residents across life domains to understand micro strategies of dealing with peripherality

Co-create place-based policies

Co-create place-based policies to enhance mobility benefits and alternative local development through village living labs and the development of a policy toolbox

Using co-production

Using co-production and visual methodologies to reframe existing narratives on LBAs to reinforce a sense of place for residents and newcomers

Work Plan

This WP ensures effective management of the project from a financial and

administrative perspective. It will safeguard positive working practices, with optimum articulation between WPs.


This WP pays due attention to ethical research practice ensuring that ethical standards are followed and implemented for the duration of the project.


This WP develops an innovative theoretical and conceptual framework to advance the research framework and ensure a rigorous methodological design.


This WP develops a unique typology of LBAs based on a Local Human Development Index combined with data collected through an online representative population survey providing unique data to examine the relationships between different individual attitudes and contexts.


This WP draws on a series of research activities scaling down to the local level in 12 LBAs through extensive empirical field work engaging with local stakeholders. Special emphasis is given structural impacts such as brain drain and labour exploitation phenomena, but also the question of social innovation; diversification of commercial offer, businesses; cultural diversity in the local communities.


This WP will add another analytical scale to the evidence gathered on mobility drivers and impacts in WP5 by examining household (im)mobility trajectories, perceptions on the outcomes of mobility across life domains and on micro tactics and livelihood strategies to cope with peripherality.


This WP engages in co-creation of policy solutions and visual

outputs to reframe narratives on LBAs. The result will lead to a policy toolbox, recommendations and a future research agenda.


This WP ensures that the work developed throughout the lifespan of the project has full impact both in terms of the production of new knowledge and in developing operational recommendations and policies for future implementation by policymakers and stakeholders.



The composition of the Re-Place consortium stems from the necessity to have strong partners in migration and mobility studies with transdisciplinary backgrounds including geography, sociology, psychology, communication studies, political science and economy. Re-Place’s focus on local development also motivated the inclusion of specialists on regional and local development, both from an economic and a territorial perspective. The specially recruited expertise provides complementary diversity within and between teams, yet with a proven track record in mobility and migration studies to respond to the core call challenges. Five out of seven of the leaders of each national team are women and all team leaders are highly experienced in working on international and EU funded projects. The partners are from 6 countries with a good geographical balance and represent outstanding universities in different areas.

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

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


Advisory Board

Re-Place Advisory Board is a crucial part of the management structure of the Re-Place project (together with the Project coordinator, the Project Officer, and the Work Package Leaders), and includes three international experts: Thilo Lang, Maria Grazia Montella, and Ricard Morén Alegret.

The Advisory Board is engaged during key moments to offer inputs and guidance on the conceptual and methodological aspects of the project, as well as in the exploitation of results and in translating these into meaningful and transformative policy recommendations.

Dr Maria Grazia Montella

Dr Maria Grazia Montella

is an urban anthropologist and PhD in Urban Planning at Sapienza University of Rome with a thesis on the impact of urban planning policies on the integration of migrants in Rome and Amsterdam. She won a Marie Curie ITN Fellowship at the University of Poitiers, Laboratoire Migrinter in 2015-2017 and she was member of the IMISCOE PhD group. She has worked for several migrant organizations in Brussels, writing and managing European funded projects on migrant socio-economic, political and spatial inclusion (MAX, RIDE, MILE). She has also worked at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions as project manager of IncluCities and policy coordinator of the CEMR Expert Group on Migration and Integration. She is currently working as senior consultant policy and programmes on migration at ICF, coordinating the publication strand of the European Migration Network platform. She recently co-funded an independent social consultancy based in Brussels, INTEGRIM Lab
Professor Dr Thilo Lang

Professor Dr Thilo Lang

is co-director of Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Head of the Department of “Regional Geographies of Europe”, coordinator of the research group “Multiple Geographies of Regional and Local Development” and Professor of Economic Geography at Leipzig University. He is an expert in peripheralisation as a multi-level process, innovation outside of conurbations, regional change, transnational comparative urban and regional studies, shrinking cities, regeneration and left behind areas – on which he has published widely. He has worked on numerous international and national projects including the following ongoing international projects: CORAL – Exploring the impacts of collaborative workspaces in rural and peripheral areas in the EU (Horizon 2020); and Beyond Left-Behind Places (German Research Foundation, ORA-Programme).
Professor Ricard Morén Alegret

Professor Ricard Morén Alegret

is Doctor of Philosophy, PhD (University of Warwick, 1999) and Master in Human Geography (UAB). He is currently Professor and Researcher at the Department of Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, as well as Associate Researcher at ICTA-UAB. Since 2017, he coordinates the line of research on migrations of the Econecol Consolidated and Funded Research Group, based in the Department of Geography and the ICTA-UAB. He has been Coordinator of the Research Group on Migrations (GRM, Research Group Consolidated and Financed by the SGR Program 2009-2014, AGAUR, Generalitat de Catalunya), as well as coordinator of the line of research on migrations of the Interfase group (SGR 2014-2016, AGAUR), both based in the Department of Geography UAB. Dr Ricard Morén-Alegret is interested in and how human migration is related to various social, economic and environmental challenges at the local, regional, national, international and inter-continental scale with specific expertise in migration to rural and semi-rural regions. He has worked on numerous international projects including his current work on Sustainable Rural Development and International Immigration in the Pyrenees (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions).

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Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação – Consultoria Empresarial e Fomento da Inovação, S.A. – SPI


Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) is a private consulting company created in 1997 as an active centre of national and international networks connected to the research and innovation sectors. SPI has become a leading promoter of linkages between private sector companies, science and technology institutions, and national and international public and private organizations. SPI has coordinated and provided expert support on projects based in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Africa. Currently, SPI has 80 full-time staff located in the various offices of the company in Portugal, China, Spain and the US, and its affiliated office in Belgium (Brussels).


SPI is the LEADER of the RE-PLACE Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation Work Package (WP8), that assures the development of a clear identity for Re-Place, the connection of Re-Place with other relevant EU networks/initiatives to explore future potential collaborations and finally, ensures that the project results are exploited and have a lasting impact in Europe.


Douglas Thompson is responsible for spearheading the development and implementation of SPI’s international strategy. This role encompasses the conception and management of project ideas, as well as overseeing research, evaluation, strategy, and S&T projects involving numerous organizations.

Douglas brings extensive knowledge and experience in conducting sector evaluations and studies, and has led data collection and analysis activities across multiple countries within the EU and globally. His background includes substantial expertise in international research collaboration and the formation of partnerships with universities and research institutes. His work primarily focuses on science and technology, innovation and research, and policy development.

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