Spatial (in)justice and place-based strategies in innovation ecosystems: the case of the Alexander Innovation Zone in Thessaloniki

Lefteris Topaloglou



The concept of spatial justice relates to the fair and equitable distribution in space of socially valued resources and opportunities. In other words, spatial justice is the spatial dimension of social justice, placing more emphasis on the geography of distribution. On this basis, this paper examines the innovation ecosystem of the Alexander Innovation Zone of Thessaloniki in Greece. What is attempted is to scrutinise, through the lens of spatial justice, this state’s initiative to deal at the regional level with innovation. This paper investigates whether a focus on localities and decentralisation would be better able to deliver the demands of spatial justice. The hypothesis to be tested is that equity in socially valued resources and opportunities can be better achieved through place-based strategies. Based upon empirical material, within the framework of the RELOCAL project (H2020,, this contribution attempts to shed some light on the aforementioned research hypothesis.


spatial justice, place-based, decentralisation, multi-level governance, innovation

Full Text:



Barca Report (2009). An Agenda for a Reformed Cohesion Policy,

Barca, F. McCann, P. and Rodriguez-Pose, An. (2012), ‘The Case for Regional Development Intervention: Place-based versus Place-neutral Approaches’, Journal of Regional Science, vol 52, no. 1, p134-152

Blatter, J. and Blume, T. (2008). Co-Variation and Process Tracing Revisited. Clarifying New Directions for Causal Inference and Generalization in Case Study Methodology. Qualitative Methods: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research.

Camagni, R. and Capello, R. (2015). Rationale and Design of EU Cohesion Policies in a Period of Crisis, Regional Science Policy & Practice, vol 7 No1

Dikec, M. (2001). Geography and social justice: three decades later, Department of Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Foucault, M. (1993). The Cultural Studies Reader , in Simon During (ed.), Space, power and knowledge, London: Routledge, pp.161-69.

Gormar, F. Lang, T. Nagy, E. and Raagmaa, G. (2019). Regional and local development in times of polarisation’, in Lang, T. and Görmar, F. (eds.) Re-thinking Regional and Local Policies in Times of Polarisation: An Introduction, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Palgrave Macmilan

Jones, R. Moisio, S. Weckroth, M. Woods, M. Luukkonen, J. Meyer, F. and Miggelbrink, J. (2019). Regional and local development in times of polarisation’, in Lang, T. and Görmar, F. (eds.) Re-conceptualising Territorial Cohesion Through the Prism of Spatial Justice: Critical Perspectives on Academic and Policy Discourses, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Palgrave Macmilan

Lefebvre, H. (1992). The Production of Space, Oxford: Blackwell.

Madanipour, A. (2011). City Reader, LeGates, R. and Stout, F (eds.), ‘Social Exclusion and Space’, Fifth Edition, London: Routledge, pp.186-194.

Madanipour, Α. Shucksmith, Μ. Talbot, Η. and Crawford, J. (2017). Resituating the Local in Cohesion and Territorial Development- Conceptual Framework for the RELOCAL Project”, RELOCAL Horizon 2020 project,

Madanipour, A. Cars, G. and Allen, J. (2003). Social Exclusion in European Cities (eds), Social Exclusion and Space, London: Routledge.

Mendez-Guerra, C. (2017). Labor Productivity, Capital Accumulation, and Aggregate Efficiency across Countries: Some Stylized Facts, Munich Personal RePEc Archive, MPRA Paper No. 82461, Kyushu University

Morange, M. and Quentin, A. (2018). Spatial Justice, critical thinking and normativity in the social sciences, Justice Spatiale / Spatial Justice, Vol 12, July 2018

Soja, E. (2010). Seeking Spatial Justice, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Yazan, B. (2015). Three approaches to case study methods in education: Yin, Merriam, and Stake. The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 134-152

Print ISSN: 1732-4254
Online ISSN: 2083-8298

Partnerzy platformy czasopism