Transitioning Geographies

The world is constantly transitioning and the conditions for human existence are never static. Yet, there are periods when an overwhelming amount of change is taking place at local, national and global levels. We are currently in such a period.

The global economy is undergoing drastic transitions with increasing protectionism, de-globalization and inflationary pressures. Dramatic shifts in geo-political dynamics manifest in new or strengthened alliances, rising regional superpowers and growing military rivalry and tensions. Interconnected processes of urbanization, regional development and industrial change reshape landscapes in profound ways and produce new forms of socio-spatial differentiation. Accelerating climate change is evident in the many records set in sea surface temperatures, ice sheet melt and glacial retreats as well as in raging wildfires, extreme heat waves and devastating floods. Meanwhile global carbon emissions keep setting new records. The ecological crises are intensifying due to deforestation, agricultural intensification and marine exploitation with devastating impacts on biodiversity and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These multiple crises may reverse recent decades’ achievements in global prosperity and imperil the Sustainable Development Goals with the global vision of economic development, increasing living standards and social justice without harmful environmental impacts. Evidently, there is an urgent need for new solutions, which can foster transitions towards sustainable socio-ecological systems.

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Therefore, there is a need for dialogues on how research can contribute towards understanding contemporary biophysical, environmental and societal transitions across local, national and global scales and in different contexts. How can research in geography increase our understanding of contemporary societal and environmental transitions and the challenges and opportunities associated with these? How are these large-scale transitions influencing geographers’ choice of objects, methodologies and analyses at various scales? Ultimately, how can geography explore the dynamics of these transitions and contribute with knowledge and interventions towards more sustainable, resilient, just and equitable transitions?

These and other questions related to ‘transitioning geographies’ are the focus of the 10th Nordic Geographers Meeting in Copenhagen on June 24-27, 2024. We invite researchers from all disciplines of geography to contribute to the conference by presenting the status of their field and contributing to how geography may have answers and solutions to some of the contemporary societal and environmental challenges.