The CEG 7 objectives for 2018-22 are stated below:
1) Developing high quality research to understand environmental, social and territorial dynamics. To reach this objective, the CEG will strengthen the policy of stimulus for publication in high impact journals and high quality scientific books and book chapters, stimulating researchers to address key issues, framed within the UN SDGs.
2) Nurturing and developing international partnerships and advanced training networks, aiming at raising the international visibility and profile of the CEG. CEG will support researchers to participate in key strategic positions in national and international organizations and networks.
3) Strengthening postgraduate training through the increase of the number of PhD grants in the certified PhD programmes offered by IGOT. The R&D unit will integrate PhD students and early-stage researchers and will implement mentoring mechanisms to improve the quality and impact of their research.
4) Seeking and securing the funding base and diversify funding sources to respond to the severe crisis and Troika intervention. CEG will develop more robust internal peer-review mechanisms and use successful cases of research funding attraction as possible models for future calls for tenders.
5) Investing in facilities, research infrastructure and staff training to offer good working conditions and services to support high-quality research. The CEG benefits from IGOT new facilities, where most researchers and staff are based since 2015. Since then, the CEG has invested in the GEOMODLAB, a laboratory for remote sensing, spatial modelling and geographical analysis, and in the Library and the map and photo archive. CEG will reinstall and modernize the Physical Geography laboratory, expand and update the PERMANTAR infrastructure, while maintaining the existing facilities and foster research and staff training to work with advanced technologies.
6) Increasing research societal impact and inform public policies for an inclusive and sustainable development of cities and regions, focusing on strategic subjects: climate change and adaptation, risk assessment and management, healthy cities, migration and integration, social vulnerability, gender equality, affordable housing, smart cities, urban mobility, sustainable tourism, innovation and inclusive jobs, territorial cohesion.
7) Delivering a sound ‘open science’ policy aiming at solving problems in a collaborative and transparent way. CEG will improve science results communication using media releases, social media and other tools aiming at a stronger involvement with the community.
Having into consideration our research broad focus, the previous achievements of the CEG and the UN 17 goals to transform our world and considering the EU development priorities, the 7 main strategic objectives of the CEG for 2018-2022 will be fostered around four main thematic agendas:
i) Environmental Change, Resources and Natural Hazards
Research will continue following the main lines of the previous evaluation period, addressing the 7 priorities and focussing on improving links between basic research and applications concerning societal needs and the SDGs. The two key research areas are:
– Natural, environmental and technological hazards and risk management, where most expertise of the CEG concentrates, tackling mainly the issues related to the environmental and societal impacts of a fast changing Earth System. The main themes are those related to climate change, urban climate, slope instability, floods, coastal dynamics, wildfire, drought, multi-hazards assessment and risk management.
– Polar permafrost environments and climate change, with new research challenges on: i. dynamics of Antarctic Peninsula permafrost, ii. permafrost thaw lakes and their significance for the global climate system (Eastern Hudson Bay), and iii. erosion in Arctic permafrost coasts
ii) Urban challenges, Socio-Economic Change and Spatial Justice
Research will continue to examine the relation between global economic changes, social transformation and spatial justice. This strategic thematic agenda will focus on the study how the interplay of economic and social relations are reshaping spatial configurations and how alternative responses can address the goal of a more just city and region. Research topics cover the study of globalization and spatial inequalities at a variety of scales, creativity, innovation and inclusive growth, ageing and demographic change, transnational migration, social and gender inequality, ethnic segregation, urban diversity, financialization of the housing market, leisure and tourism, culture and identity.
iii) Territories, Governance, Politics and Planning
This strategic thematic agenda will address the questions related with the governance of cities to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. It concerns also the study of politics and power structures constitution and their influence on geopolitics, citizenship and geographical knowledge from the local to the global. In conjunction, the study of city and regional planning will focus on spatial cohesion, peripheral development, natural and cultural heritage and tourism planning, urban-rural nexus, inclusive cities, urban modelling, ICT and the urban planning process, collective facilities and amenities, service provision, infrastructures and networks, urban transportation, smart city.
iv) Environment, Culture, Society and Place
Environment, culture and societal integration is gaining momentum in academia and in the policy arena. This new strategic thematic agenda intends to respond to this burgeoning interest building on the solid work of CEG Human and Physical Geographers, promoting their intra-disciplinary interaction. Research embrace the study of interweaved society and environment issues, including but not limited to the topics of the Anthropocene, climate change adaptation and urban planning, urban ecologies, biodiversity in the city, commoning and shared resources, local food systems, migration and disaster risk reduction, geodiversity and responsible tourism, culture and landscape, resilience and vulnerability, healthy cities, energy efficient cities, innovation and sustainability transitions.