IGU Commission on the Mediterranean Basin (COMB) has been notified these days on the approval of a FP7 Marie Curies IRSES project entitled ‘Mediterranean changing relationships: global change, networks and border openings’ (MEDCHANGe). FP7 is a prestigious research frame in Europe and the Marie Curies IRSES framework supports scholars working on mobilities and networked research in European as well as partner countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

COMB Chair Maria Paradiso (Italy) initiated the COMB consortium which eventually competed with proposals from all science fields, ‘hard’ as well as social sciences. COMB and MEDCHANGe welcome cooperation with other IGU commissions, and interested colleagues are welcome to join the project blog when it will open.

MEDCHANGe is a team of geographers from European, North African, and Middle Eastern universities committed for 48 months of research. Many female scholars lead local units.
Team leaders are: Mohamed Alouat, David Chinarro, Lucinda Fonseca, Alun Jones,
Maria Paradiso (General Coordinator), Jamila Settar, Izhak Schnell, Mauro Spotorno, Ouidad Tebbaa.

MEDCHANGe focuses on the analysis of the relationships between global networks (Internet), flows (virtual and spatial mobilities of individuals) related to gender issues of Moroccan female migrants: climate change; tourism and heritage; valorization flows; and geographical localities in terms of local development and marginalization/segregation. Furthermore, MEDCHANGe will attempt to shed some light on changing relationships at the spatial scales of some Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain) due to global flows, border crossing and local structural changes. The COMB MEDCHANGe network of scholars will work in synergy and complementarities through joint field research, workshops and seminars by investigating both the spatial and behavioral origins and development of our topics and their contemporary changing dynamics in selected territorial cases (Tel Aviv, Algiers, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Naples-Caserta, Zaragoza, and Genoa). Theoretically MEDCHANGe will contribute to the redefinition of the concepts that denote the field of investigation, ‘Mediterranean changing relationships’ namely mobility, connectivity, gender, heritage, spatial justice, entrepreneurship, inclusion, climate migration, and the idea of ‘Mediterranean integration’ within a context of uneven development. Empirically, the team aims to exchange skills, knowledge, and expertise, in order to document the different ways in which transformations of Mediterranean cities and villages take place, and in order to grasp the implications of the so-called ‘virtual spatial mobilities’ in terms of inclusion, citizenship, security, and intercultural dialog. At the operational level, MEDCHANGe looks forward to studying successful processes and practices of cooperation.