The research programme “Geographical systems and risk processes in the context of global changes and European integration” (MSM 0021620831) is a significant joint research project for the geographical institute of Charles University’s Faculty of Science. The Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, the Department of Applied Geographic Information Systems and Cartography and the Department of Demography and Geodemography are all participating in this research project.
Research is being conducted in four topical areas:
- Natural threats in the context of global changes
- Changes in the landscape and natural environment within the conditions of a transforming society
- Current tendencies for socio-economic regional differentiation and the development of demographic sources
- European integration processes and the effects of the Czech Republic’s accession to the European Union on regional development
These topical areas are connected with research objectives.
The basic research is focused on:
- developing theories of natural and societal systems and their mutual interaction at local, regional and global scales: an integral approach to complex geographical systems and to the risks, which threaten their stability, is a priority;
- physical-geographical analyses of the dynamics of natural phenomena, processes and systems, particularly in the context of global climate changes and with an emphasis on natural threats and risks;
- social-geographical and demographic analyses of regional development and population developments in the context of globalization and European integration, considering the societal risks of demographic developments and territorial polarization;
- the development and utilization of progressive, geographic information systems methods and approaches with an emphasis on the application of geographic information systems.
The research programme is also resulting in a number of applicable outcomes, concerning:
- natural threats and risks, such as floods, soil erosion, landslides and seismic activity, and their relation to anthropogenic activities in the landscape;
- the harmonic development of landscape with an emphasis on changes in land use;
- regional and urban development, including questions of regional competitiveness and potential for regional development, risks and conflicts that could disrupt social cohesiveness and the long-term sustainability of societal developments;
- population and migration developments, including implications for the creation of relevant public policies.
Research efforts are focused on furthering knowledge in sub-disciplines and research specialties found within the geographical institute at Charles University’s Faculty of Science and on the integration of such research aimed at providing integrated knowledge of the geographical organization of environmental and societal systems. Research on physical-geographical, social-geographical and demographic phenomena is supported with advanced geographic information systems technology. The research programme supports the specialization of sub-departments, stimulates interdisciplinary cooperation and contributes to the integration of research in the geographical institute at Charles University’s Faculty of Science.
The research programme represents the core of basic research in the geographical institute at Charles University’s Faculty of Science and ensures its long-term trajectory. Specialized research tasks are further developed through smaller research projects. The purposeful integration of these independent projects with the research programme presents additional opportunities for increased knowledge and synergy and leads to greater effectiveness in utilizing available resources for financing research in geographical fields.
The geographical research programme at Charles University’s Faculty of Science is a primary foundation for long-term and intensive participation in international research and cooperation. Part of the research is carried out abroad or in cooperation with foreign partners. Members of the research team are active in international professional associations. The systematic presentation of findings at international conferences and in foreign publications facilitates the presentation and international comparison of research results and provides further incentive for the development of additional research. The research programme connects the work of distinguished scientists, who dictate the orientation of geographical research, with the training and work of a younger generation of scientific researchers and doctorate students in the Faculty of Science at Charles University.