Regional and rural studies

Research in this thematic area focuses on three fields of study:

  • the socio-economic development and environmental sustainability of sparsely populated and border regions, such as Eastern Finland, under the conditions of globalisation and integration;
  • making use of the rural regions' resources, services, development initiatives and women as a resource; and
  • the mechanisms and results of welfare policy; regional labour and employment markets and gender equality in particular.

In these three fields of research, cooperation is close with undergraduate and postgraduate education and active connections are maintained with various regional development operators. Evaluation and commissioned research is organised under Spatia, the Centre for Regional Research.

In 2016–2020, this thematic area is the coordinator of the RELOCAL research project, which is part of the Horizon 2020 programme funded by the European Commission. This project focuses on the role of localities and places in cohesion policy and spatial justice. Research projects in carried out by the  European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) have played a central role in the activities in this thematic area and our aim is to continue this work within the framework of the ESPON 2020 programme.

The responsible person in this thematic area is Petri Kahila, the Research Director of Spatia.