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Re-Place annual consortium meeting in Riga

We're thrilled to share highlights from our recent consortium meeting held on the 18th – 19th April, in Riga, Latvia. Hosted by the University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, the event was a productive gathering of minds. Key discussions centered on the Local Human Development Index (LHDI) findings for each participating country and the initial results of our Re-Place survey. These insights pave the way for our upcoming qualitative research, starting this June, where we'll delve into case study areas and employ visual methods to better understand place attachment.

Among the other events within the framework of the Re-Place annual consortium meeting, Re-Place researcher Josefina Domínguez-Mujica, from Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has presented a guest lecture intitled “Left-behindness-islandness and human mobility”.

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Our Research

‘Riabitare l’Italia’ joins the Sapienza Re-Place team

In January 2024, the Board of Directors of the ‘Riabitare l’Italia’ Association accepted the invitation sent by Sapienza University to join the Horizon Europe Re-Place Project as an End User. The multidisciplinary group of researchers, academics, policy makers and operators gathered around the ‘Riabitare l’Italia’ project, exactly like the Re-Place team, believing that it’s necessary to undertake a cultural and political challenge. A challenge based on the knowledge of the country’s structural complexity and on the need to raise public awareness of the environmental, economic and cultural value of polycentrism.

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Local Human Development Index (LHDI) and Left Behind Areas (LBA) typology

At the end of April, the Re-Place team completed one of the project tasks, namely to “elaborate a Local Human Development Index (LDHI) and a Left Behind Areas (LBA) typology”.
The main results consisted in six datasets containing a unique LDHI and a regional human development index (RHDI) calculated by the ICCV team, and a ranking of localities based on the two indices (on details on LHDI/RHDI, please consult our previous newsletters). These rankings, based on quintiles of the LHDI and the RHDI, are an instrument to identify Left Behind Areas in regions with different levels of development. They will be used in the next stages of the project, in the selection of case study areas, but also in contextualizing the results of the online survey conducted in the countries represented in the project.

Re-Place’s Participatory Approach and Visual Methodology

At Re-Place, we embrace a participatory methodology throughout our entire process. One crucial tool in this endeavor is the curation of visual data within our 12 selected case study areas. In our recent consortium meeting in Riga, we’ve developed a comprehensive visual methodology guide, followed by a hands-on workshop: the University of Latvia became the canvas of a very short video, where we attempted to unveil how the University supports well-being, has a place identity, and fosters a welcoming environment for outsiders.

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RE-PLACE at conferences

Re-Place partners took part in the 9th international NoRSA conference

Re-Place project partners from Latvia and representatives from the Department of Human Geography at the University of Latvia took part in the 9th international NoRSA conference, titled “Regional Outcomes of Global Challenges in the Nordic Countries,” held in Vilnius on May 2nd and 3rd, 2024. Among the topics presented and discussed, a particular study was notable, highlighting demographic trends and economic performance in rural regions of Latvia and within the Baltic region.

For more information about the event click here.

Re-Place was presented during the Sustainable Development Festival, in Italy

On May 23 2024, Re-Place Project was presented during a conference on the Challenges for Sustainability organized at Sapienza University of Rome. Structured into plenary sessions, thematic round tables, practical workshops and networking spaces, the Sustainable Development Festival was characterized by the desire to share knowledge, explore innovative solutions and create strategic partnerships around the four pillars of sustainability: institutions, society, economy and environment.

For more information about the event click here.

Re-Place at the XIII International Conference on Economic Development and Social Sustainability

Mădălina Manoilă, from the Romanian Re-Place partner, ICCV, participated with her colleagues Monica Marin and Eugen Glăvan at the XIII International Conference on Economic Development and Social Sustainability (EDaSS), which took place at the University of Malta (in Valletta) and online, from the 8th to the 10th May 2024.
The EDaSS conference, with a focus on the influence of economic development on sustainability, brought together researchers from environmental, economic, and social studies. The ICCV team presented a paper about “EU Funds Absorption in Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) in Romania”. Based on data from the 2014-2020 programming period, from the EU-FAR dataset, and using a place-based approach, the paper investigates territorial disparities regarding the distribution of European funds across Functional Urban Areas in Romania.

For more information about the event click here.

Re-Place at the FORTHEM Conference

From the 6th to the 8th May 2024, Alexandra Deliu and Mădălina Manoilă, members of the Romanian Re-Place team, participated in the FORTHEM conference, that took place online. The event was at its first edition and, with a focus on global challenges and the complex impacts of unforseen events such as the pandemic, brought together researchers from various fields, as well as non-academic stakeholders.
Alexandra and Mădălina’s presentation, titled I’m not a careerist!” Family and profession in the narratives of Moldovan doctors working in Romania, brought up the case of medical professionals immigrating to Romania from the Republic of Moldova, and explored their accounts of mobility, profession and family in relation to the concept of subjective geography. In case of these professionals, migration to Romania is a strategy that allows them to remain close to their extended families, while pursuing professional development. The empirical data, consisting of biographical interviews with doctors and nurses, will be further analyzed using the conceptual framework of the Re-place project.
For more information about the event  click here.

Re-Place at the International Geographical Union Thematic Conference

Re-Place project was presented at the International Geographical Union thematic conference, at Quito, Equador, on the 17th may 2024, with the main theme “Connecting Geographies from the Global South”.
Researchers from Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Josefina Domínguez-Mujica, Juan M. Parreño-Castellano, Mercedes de los Ángeles Rodríguez-Rodríguez and Víctor Jiménez Barrado presented two lectures that focused on spanish Left-Behind-Areas, titled:
    • The involvedness of human mobility in a left behind place: the case of El Hierro island;
    • Inequality and lagging areas in Spain based on the local human development index.

For more information about the event click here.

In the field
“Fundão, an embracing land”: Characterizing the migrant population in one of the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity

In April 2024, O Lugar Comum and IGOT visited Fundão, a European Capital of Inclusion and Diversity, to gather insights for the Re-Place project. Renowned for its migrant integration policies, Fundão is developing its third Municipal Plan for Migrants Integration. This initiative involves collaboration with André Saramago, a PhD candidate at IGOT and Re-Place team member, to understand the migrant community's priorities, vulnerabilities, expectations, and experiences.
Two more visits are scheduled between June and July for participative activities with both migrant and local communities, including focus groups and a world cafe. The goal is to identify integration and social cohesion priorities, ultimately benefiting Fundão. This research will also help evaluate mobility potential in non-metropolitan areas and assess integration practices in other parts of Portugal.

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Field trip in Olt County, Southern Romania

In May 2024, researchers from the Romanian team conducted a field visit in one of the areas selected as a (potential) case study in the project. The area is located in the Southern part of Romania (usually associated with low levels of resources in common/public discourses), in Olt County, and its localities are characterized by low levels of Local Human Development Index both at national and regional level. This visit was useful for gathering some preliminary, brief information that was convergent with what was found out through desk research. The topics covered included local economy and employment, mobility trends and population characteristics. The research team was well received by the local authorities, who were interested and open to collaborate in the Re-Place activities.

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Recently published

Two book chapters were published as part of the documentation of the 60th edition of the Academic Week, organised by the Southeast Europe Association

GÖLER, Daniel (2024): Return Migration. Theories, Concepts, Findings – with a Special Emphasis on Southeastern Europe. In: ČAPO, Jasna; DIMOVA, Rozita & Lumnije JUSUFI (Eds.): Return Migration and its Consequences in Southeastern Europe. (= Südosteuropa-Jahrbuch 47). Berlin: Peter Lang, pp. 35-47.

DOKA, Dhimitёr & Daniel GÖLER (2024): Rückkehr nach Albanien. Phasen, Effekte, Perspektiven. In: ČAPO, Jasna; DIMOVA, Rozita & Lumnije JUSUFI (Eds.): Return Migration and its Consequences in Southeastern Europe. (= Südosteuropa-Jahrbuch 47). Berlin: Peter Lang, pp. 49-62.

Both chapters are part of the documentation of the 60th edition of the Academic Week, organised by the Southeast Europe Association. The keynote on return migration provides a general overview on classic and contemporary theories and concepts of related research from Ravenstein to the recent 'return turn' in migration studies. Findings are reflected on the basis of the migration-development-nexus. The second chapter on return to Albania adresses on an empirical basis phases of 30 years of emigration, return and circularity and related effects on the country's economy and society.



Upcoming event

(Im)mobility in left-behind areas: cross-comparing
European projects (IMISCOE Workshop)

July 3rd, Lisbon, Portugal
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The Re-Place project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement no. 101094087.

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