Doctoral thesis | Ritu George Kaliaden

Place identity and attachment among skilled international migrants in peripheral cities: a case study of Görlitz, Germany

Countries across the developed world, facing demographic decline and a shortage of labour, regard skilled international migrants as a key target group in sustainable development strategies. However, regional imbalances abound as these migrants typically gravitate towards larger metropolitan areas, causing peripheral urban locations to lose out. Amongst urban planners and policy makers, there is a call for deeper insights into how skilled international migrants develop or fail to develop ties to their places of residence and how this impacts mobility decisions, especially in peripheral locations that are not typical migration destinations. This study will use the concept of place attachment to examine place ties and mobility among skilled international migrants in the peripheral city of Görlitz, Germany. It will adopt a qualitative approach - using semi-structured interviews to investigate how the physical and social characteristics of place affect place attachment and mobility intentions among this group. The study aims to contribute to the discourse on the development of place ties in the context of mobility among skilled international migrants and inform strategies to attract and retain skilled international migrants in peripheral areas. It will also contribute to the gap in research on skilled migration in the context of non-metropolitan and peripheral urban settings. Additionally, it will address the call for further research on place-based everyday practices of skilled migrants.