MiLAND - The impact of migration on landscape identity in an urban and a rural context

The interactions between people and their surroundings play an important role in the construction of their identities. We know the landscape we live in, we interact with it daily and in doing so, we make it our home. Feeling at home in our surroundings plays an important role in our quality of life. People sometimes struggle severely with being displaced when for example peoples’ landscape is being turned into a nature area or when people have to flee their home due to war. Even when people voluntarily migrate, it often proves a struggle to settle in their new surroundings. The places in which people have lived previously, shape how they are connected to the landscape they live in. Migrants for example often value features in the landscape which remind them of their home. Also, people’s cultural background and values shared with the local community have an impact on how they perceive and value their surroundings. Major differences between how migrants and natives view their landscape can contribute to segregation. This research will, therefore, address these issues, investigating differences in how migrants and natives identify with the local landscape and trying to uncover underlying factors that influence the effects of migration on people’s landscape identity. This research project is divided into four different phases: participatory landscape character assessment, focus groups, surveys, and in-depth interviews. These steps will be applied in rural and urban areas in both Belgium and Portugal to understand the processes of landscape identity formation across different contexts.


Isabel Loupa Ramos
Fátima Bernardo

AfricaHabitat - From the Sustainability of the Habitat to the Quality of Inhabit in the Urban Margins of Luanda and Maputo

The project deals with forms of socio-urbanistic and housing intervention in the urban margins of African cities of Lusotopie, in the new millennium, focusing on those that contribute to improving the quality of inhabit and the sustainability of habitat of low-income groups. In the current context of accelerated urbanisation, globalisation and increasing socio-spatial inequalities, inscribed in the neoliberal paradigm, it is urgent to reflect on the impact of such interventions, as well as on how to construct a more inclusive habitat and on how and what to do to reinforce them. Luanda and Maputo, with similar structural constraints, are taken as case studies.


Manuel Correia Guedes

Fire-B-aware - Wildfire risk perception and preparedness amongst school children and their families in Portugal

Also appears in: Landscape, On-going

Acronym: Fire-B-aware

Fire-B-aware intends to investigate the wildfire risk perception and preparedness amongst school children and their families in Portugal. To do so, two main objectives were established to guide the development of the project:

  • Understand how middle school students living in Portugal perceive wildfire risk, how they are prepared to respond to wildfire risk events and how their attitudes and behaviours shape their preparedness.
  • Understand which is the middle school student’s families perception of wildfire risk mitigation in the scope of spatial planning.

One type of questionnaire will be conducted to collect the required data for each of these objectives. The first questionnaire will be applied to the 7th grade middle school students within the class of citizenship and considering a representative sample of 4 schools per district of the mainland Portugal (expected N = 3600 students). This sample of 4 schools per district intends to collect data on students in all of the following 4 situations: being in a fire risk area with previous fire event experience; being in a fire risk area without previous fire event experience; being in a non-fire risk area but having a previous fire event experience; being in a non-fire risk area and having no previous fire event experience. The second questionnaire, to be applied to the families of the 7th grade middle school students, will be delivered to the students in the citizenship class so it can be answered at home by their relatives. A digital version of this questionnaire will also be prepared attempting to reach a wider sample of data. As Fire-B-aware outputs, it is expected to submit two papers in scientific journals, to present communications in international conferences, to develop a guide for schools rising awareness on this subject and to organize a seminar on wildfire risk perception.


Fátima Bernardo (Coordinator)
Isabel Loupa Ramos (Co-coordinator)

ROBUST - Unlocking Rural-Urban Synergies

This is an ongoing H2020 funded project with the duration of 4 years starting in 2017. The aim of the project is to challenge the dichotomy of urban and rural spaces where urban is associated to innovation and consumption while the countryside remains a place for food production, nature conservation and recreation. As the stereotype holds the differences are blurring. This project aims to understand what are communalities and conflicts in order to move forwards in bringing out synergies and new development models. The partnership includes the following institutions: Aberystwyth University (UK), Baltic Studies Centre (Latvia), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, European Secretariat (Germany),  Natural Resources Institute Finland (Finland), OIKOS – Development Consulting (Slovenia), Peri-Urban Regions Platform Europe (Belgium), Policy Research Consultancy (Germany), University of Gloucestershire – Countryside and Community Research Institute (UK), University of Lisbon – Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal), University of Pisa (Italy), University of Valencia (Spain), Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and Federal Institute for Mountainous and Less-Favoured Areas (Austria).

The participation in this project links into the findings of the PERIURBAN project lead by IST/CERIS and into the work developed in the context of COLEGIO F3 of the University of Lisbon.


European Union Horizon 2020 Programme


2017 – 2021


Han Wiskerke (Coordinator)
Maria do Rosário Partidário
Isabel Loupa Ramos
Rute Martins
Margarida Monteiro
Carlos Pina
Alexandra Almeida