Strategic focus areas

Strategic focus areas

Nature in a light bulb

Geography is a discipline that explores the spatial organization of society and interactions between people and environments, and provides knowledge about planning, management and development processes in society. These are all key areas in the development of solutions to some of the most important challenges that we face today, including those related to climate change, migration, urbanization, and economic change. 

Geography has a broad interface with other related disciplines in the social sciences and the natural sciences. Both the discipline and the Department are characterized by interdisciplinarity, which constitutes a strength when we address complex societal challenges and aim to find solutions to them. Additionally, it contributes to ensuring social, environmental and economic sustainability.

The Department will continue to offer exciting, challenging and work-relevant courses. Geography has a strong tradition of fieldwork and field courses are an integral part of many of the taught courses. The teaching is closely linked to the Department’s research activities. Research will contiue to be socially relevant and internationally recognized. 

Geographical methods taught include visualization and analytical tools such as geographical information systems (GIS), numerical modelling and field-based methods, in addition to more conventional quantitative and qualitative methods. 


Our strategic areas

Climate change increases the likelihood of natural hazards occurring in many areas, which thus makes different communities’ vulnerability and ability to cope with such incidents highly relevant. When focusing on the links between the physical and social world, we use both physical and human geography methods and approaches to understand what makes individuals and societies vulnerable or resilient, and hence their ability to adapt to changes in their physical and social conditions.

In order to investigate the possible effects of climate change, especially sea level rise, and of the pollution of coastal landscapes in Norway, the Arctic and elsewhere, the research focuses particularly on geological measurements of historical mean water levels and mapping microplastics in coastal zones. It also focuses on collaboration with local actors to identify and visualize urgent environmental problems, as well as to increase our collective understanding of how they can be solved.


Major themes within the priority area:

  • Effects of climate change and their visualization through geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Increased understanding of urgent environmental and climate-related problems, and how they can be solved
  • Vulnerability, resilience and adaptation

This priority area will develop new knowledge about how people and communities conceptualize, manage and use nature, resources and landscapes. The area includes research on how nature and natural resources are defined and conceptualized in different ways and different contexts, and how this forms the basis for often contradictory and conflicting discourses and practices. The research approach is political, in that we seek to understand the consequences of such discourses and practices for equitable distribution and inequality, processes of social and economic change, and vulnerability and social protection. The priority area also includes courses on rights-holders’ roles and participation in both formal and informal decision-making processes related to the management and use of biodiversity, oil, and water, as well as nature as an arena for recreation. Research is carried out both in the Global South and the Global North.

Major themes within the priority area: 

  • Use, distribution and conceptualization of nature and natural resources 
  • Management of particularly valuable natural resources 
  • Nature and landscape as arenas for inclusion, participation and democracy

A key perspective in this thematic priority area is how transnational economic relations, cultural interaction, and interdependence between places and people in different parts of the world influence politics and political participation, cooperation, and sustainable development. Special attention is given to social development in the Global South. A geographical perspective is used to provide new knowledge that will contribute to the development and implementation of institutional practices and measures to ensure that groups of people, which for various reasons do not participate in conventional planning processes, are included in decision-making processes. A major theme is how citizenship is emerging as an arena and resource for social and political strategies. The research in this thematic area will contribute to ways of facing the challenges of cultural diversity, social exclusion and democratic deficit.


Major themes within the priority area:

  • Migration and cultural encounters
  • International capital, trade and investment
  • New preconditions for citizenship
  • Collaboration and participation in planning and management processes

Based on economic and cultural geographical perspectives, we study the interfaces between people’s activities, places, and major social processes such as migration, industrial development, urban growth, and rural change. The research focuses on the importance and consequences of innovation, policy and planning for sustainable change, and how people in different communities shape and experience their everyday lives. We also study sustainable changes in businesses and their value chains. We emphasize how business activities, places and regions are linked through global networks and value chains.


Major themes within the priority area:

  • Transition to sustainable cities, communities and industries
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Urban, rural and regional changes
  • Social inequality, identities and perspectives on place

Contact

Contact

  Staff
  About the department
  (+ 47) 73 55 89 07
  kontakt@ige.ntnu.no


Postal address:
NTNU, Department of Geography
NO-7491 Trondheim
Norway

Visiting address:
Dragvoll, Building 7, Level 4