Environmental geography

Selected projects

The aim of the project is land owners (including municipalities) energising and rising their responsibility for land management in order to enhance landscape resilience in the context of climate change. The project sumarises the soil state of the art, identifies the key motivations of land owners (incl. municipalities) to responsible ownership of land, finds the solutions for the presumed and real obstacles for more responsible land management conversion, clusters the land owners, communicates with them in order to support their position in the tenure agreement negotiation process with the farmers, develops the informational web portal with the citizen science involvement and effortless plot of land and crop tracing.

In urban theory and practice, the concepts of compact and polycentric city are promoted in order to mitigate negative effects of the urban sprawl and to reach sustainable development. Although both spatial planning concepts employ urban morphology and space of flows as fundamental operational categories when describing multi-layered urban processes, they stem from different theoretical perspectives. Unclear meanings and ambiguous definitions of these concepts are related to their scale-dependency and to different analytics of spatiotemporal urban configurations. Inconsistent conceptualizations are reflected in planning imaginations and urban planning practice as the combined application of both spatial visions is accompanied by incomprehension, blurred terminology and procedural complications. By using qualitative and mainly quantitative methods, the aim is to analyse the multiple relationships between both concepts. The resulting interpretative framework would shed light on essential principles of compact and polycentric city concepts and the possibilities of their integration.

With growing pressure on land, conflicting values and rationalizations may result in land use conflicts and globally pose fundamental dilemmas for decision-makers. Taking the socio-geographical stance, we focus on local land use conflicts - the situations where strategies and policies meet varying perspectives at a local level. Using the Czech case study, we aim at different priorities (brownfield regeneration, energy landscapes, flood management and rural development) that are frequently encountered in similar territorial settings and create local land use conflicts. First, we will conduct a country-wide quantitative analyses of the extent and dynamics of conflicting land use transitions. Second, we will apply the process-tracing based on documentary data, semi-structured questionnaires with stakeholders and face-to-face questionnaires in local communities to explore rationalizations leading to land use decisions in case studies. Finally, we aim to establish a typology of local land use conflicts and suggest the regionally-based guiding principles for their adaptive management.

The aim of the project is to prepare collection of landscape paintings and old photographs from various parts of Moravia and the adjacent part of Bohemia with their exact topographic locations, from which were created. Based on photographic documentation of present state of scenes and vegetation survey and with the help of old maps and historical floristic data there will be interpreted landscape and vegetation changes of studied sites. As the outputs will be prepared three formats of traveling exhibitions and audio-visual production, which will be provided to the public by information boards and QR codes in the field and also by project websites of participating institutions and individual application guarantors.

The aim of the project is to understand the complexity of geographical and social patterns that are responsible for different ways of the development of agricultural properties in the post-communist rural space. The project is devoted to the problem of abandoning of agricultural properties that occurred after 1989, which represent the largest share of abandoned properties in the country. Systematic and deepening of knowledge on trajectories of (un-)usage of agricultural properties is currently on the edge of attention of researchers. However, the project offers important research potential in deepening of knowledge about changes of rural structures in the post-socialist space.

The project is focused on the evaluation of geodiversity functions and potential within urban areas from the tourist, recreation and education point of view with a special regard to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. The complex analysis and assessment will be accompanied by proposals of specific activities designed for rational and sustainable use of particular geodiversity sites. These proposals will include geo-paths as an alternative tool for promoting natural and cultural heritage within towns and cities, workshops focused on the role of geodiversity within urban areas, audio-visual materials about geodiversity and geo-heritage, etc.

The aim of this project is to develop theoretical understanding of the nature and dynamics of the renewable energy development, by analyzing existing social-economic, spatial and landscape patterns and regional differences of the development in four European countries (Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary), identifying enablers and barriers which hinder a more effective utilization of the realizable potential of specific renewable energy resources, and studying how these barriers and enablers evolve over time. At the same time in order to achieve a space-based study we will study interactions among all different kind of renewables existing in different study areas to analyze institutional contexts and acceptability of energy transition in order to provide indications for efficient energy policies.

The project dealt with the recycling of unused space in the post-socialist context. The Actor-network theory allowing the perception of action, in our case the perception of recycling spaces as a network mobilization, has been selected as the basic framework of the project. For the purpose of this project, space is understood as the network space operating in categories of the network topology, i.e. the space that is a product of actor-network’s activities. The main aim of this project was to fill the gap presented within the approaches to the study of the issue of recycling spaces which proceeds rather spontaneously and without strict defined rules and prescript procedures in the post-socialist space.

The main aim of this Action was to bundle capacities across Europe to investigate and extend the impact of the scientific, educational, policy, and civic outcomes of Citizen Science with the stakeholders from all sectors concerned (e.g., policy makers, social innovators, citizens, cultural organizations, researchers, charities and non-governmental organizations), in order to gauge the potential of citizen science as enabler of social innovation and socio-ecological transition. So far 34 member countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding, and members of 38 countries registered at the webpage and take part of this Citizen Science Action, contributing to workshops, host young scientists, or cooperate on scientific publications.

This project fulfilled the following objectives: The inventory of pre-industrial areas within the historical borders of Moravia was completed on the comparison of adequate historical maps with the latest cartographic products; The identified areas were classified in three size categories, each in three quality categories respecting registers in successful regions of Western Europe; The completed text, maps, images and tabular documentation of each registered entity included proposed measures designed to the future care and management; The documentation was made available to affected municipalities and public in electronic form by the Czech Ministry of Culture; The regionally touring adaptable museum exhibition was prepared; Methodological and regional knowledge were transformed into an electronic didactic learning, educational materials for schools and the public use.

Within this project, we have developed theoretical understanding of the diverse nature and social-spatial dynamics of renewable energy developments, analysed spatial patterns and identified and classified social barriers that impede effective utilization of realizable potential of underused renewable energy resources. The research was focused on three key sectors in terms of relevance for the likely future development: wind energy, solar energy, and production of biomass and biogas. Analytical results were synthesised through the theoretical lens of institutional change and adaptive governance, which helped better understand the given processes and to develop adaptive strategies that enable stakeholders and communities involved to mitigate social conflicts during the renewable energy development.

This extensive international project was based on the identification of research gaps and innovation needs in spatial planning, provided by surveying more than 500 stakeholders from across Europe in a unique critical bottom-up approach, to ensure that research needs reflect the demands of end-users. Based on this, The Europeans’ Strategic Research Agenda for Integrated Spatial Planning, Land Use and Soil-Sediment-Water Management was developed, being designed to attract research funding by public and private parties and to ensure that knowledge is widely applied by public sector bodies, SMEs and large enterprises, wishing to innovate and contribute to a greener, more socially cohesive, smarter and competitive Europe. The European Commission is using the project results as support documents for the identification of research needs.

The project investigated the inter-relationships between renewable energy production and landscape quality, and the role of public participation for the acceptance of renewable energy systems. Nearly 200 researchers from 34 countries participated on the project activities. The action provided tool-kits to achieve a better understanding of how landscape protection & management as well as renewable energy deployment can be reconciled to contribute socio-environmentally to the sustainable transformation of energy systems and contributed to the consolidation and extension of knowledge from a pan-European perspective using a modular methodological framework. This project prepared enhancement tools science based for decision-making, and developed guidelines for public participation in planning renewable energy systems.