Research area: Multiple geographies of regional and local development

The research area focuses on contrasting socio-spatial developments and their interdependence at multiple scales. Of particular interest are questions about how political, economic, and civil society actors initiate new developments, the challenges that need to be overcome, as well as the processes which determine the socio-spatial (dis)advantageous settings in which actors, places, and regions find themselves. Through these questions, the research area contributes to debates on a balanced and just spatial development, while also furthering understandings of the effects that spatial and socio-economic changes have on various social groups.

Read more …


Throughout the last decades, the societal and economic integration taking place within Europe has aimed to improve and balance people’s living conditions. This process should be sustained by both shared political values as well as free trade, a common market, and the mobility of people and ideas. Nevertheless, territories often still develop unevenly and the focus on neoliberal policies often perpetuates polarisation instead of achieving social and territorial cohesion.

To better grasp these dynamics, this research area pursues new perspectives on researching diverging socio-spatial developments that lead to “multiple geographies”. Its practical aim is to propose solutions on how to tackle the political, economic, and societal challenges resulting from increasing polarisation and peripheralisation.

Of particular interest are questions about how political, economic, and civil society actors initiate new developments, the challenges that need to be overcome, as well as about the processes, which determine the socio-spatial (dis)advantageous settings in which actors, places, and regions find themselves.

Contributing to the wider debate on a balanced and just spatial development, the research area investigates alternative perspectives for structurally weak and peripheralised regions. Of particular interest are approaches to regional development, which are less prominent in the public discourse.

What is the role of local spatial conditions and relations in social and economic innovation processes and path development? What is the progressive potential of alternative, social and peripheral economies? How can regional and local change be understood as collaborative processes that comprise state, quasi-state, and non-state actors?
How, and under which circumstances do cities, regions and especially peripheralised areas reposition themselves in contexts of Europeanisation, nation building, internalisation, and globalisation? The research area seeks to examine these questions predominantly through transnational comparative studies.


Projects

Agents of change in old-industrial regions in Europe (ACORE)
Local democracy in small and medium-sized cities under the conditions of peripheralization
Broadening horizons, Changing perspectives
Social entrepreneurship in structurally weak rural areas: innovative troubleshooters in action (RurAction)
Peripheral but global: World market leaders outside of agglomerations

Completed projects

Cities after decline: small city revival in the USA and Russia
Hidden Champions – Stabilisation and development factors of small towns in peripheral regions
Shifting paradigms – Towards participatory and effective urban planning in Germany, Russia and Ukraine
Industrial Heritage, Cultural Resources of Current Industries and Creative Pioneers – InduCult2.0
Mining Cities in Central Asia and the South Caucasus
Urban reconfiguration in post-Soviet space – ira.urban

Our website uses cookies to enhance your user experience.

For analysis we use the web service Matomo. Your personal information - including your IP address - will be anonymized prior to processing. Please consent to our cookies by clicking the “OK” button.