Invitation

We warmly invite all geographers to the 8th Belgian Geographers Days, which will take place on Friday October 18th 2019 at “Het Pand”, Ghent University.

Scope

The overall theme of this year’s conference is “Geography for the Future - The Future of Geography?”. Poverty, famines, political conflicts and cultural contrasts, (in)equality, the quest for clean energy, the limits to economic growth, climate change, untenable mobility systems and air quality, indigenous struggles, responsible resource management,... These are only a few of the crucial and often interconnected issues today, which all bear a strong geographical component. Therefore, the challenges and opportunities are numerous for the discipline of Geography and will also shape the manner in which the field will develop in the future.

In order to consolidate this broad spectrum of critical issues during the Belgian Geographers Days, we believe the Sustainable Development Goals, formulated in 2016 by the United Nations, will provide a convenient and workable framework. The SDGs provide a global blueprint for a future-proof society, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. Besides the open sessions, which will be organized based on the received abstracts, we distilled the following 6 key sessions for the conference, based on the SDGs:

  • Quality of Life

    This theme gathers three SDGs focusing on the people’s quality of life: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Health and Well-Being. Many different geographic research disciplines contribute to this broader goal, ranging from studies in physical geography on hydrology systems and erosion management to enable sustainable agriculture, over efforts in landscape-ecology that investigate the impact of people’s surroundings on their health and well-being, to developing geographic information systems assisting rescue workers in areas affected by epidemics or calamities.

  • (In)equalities

    Inequality can be studied in relation to a wide variety of topics such as space, locations, gender, ethnicity, (social) mobility, accessibility, economy, trade and income,... Unsurprisingly, a plethora of geographic subdisciplines deal with this matter: economic geographers, transport geographers, feminist geographers, spatial analysts, human geographers, ... This session is open to scholars whose work strongly centers on the issues of (in)equality.

  • Climate Change

    Climate change is inevitably the major environmental threat we face nowadays. Geography allows the understanding of the geospatial characteristics of climate change with its impacts, and consequently contributes to sustainable and eco-driven land management decisions. Therefore, we encourage presentations regarding climate change research and exchange of information and ideas among researchers in geography and its related domains.

  • Innovation and Infrastructure

    The 9th sustainable development goal stimulates us to build a resilient infrastructure, to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and to foster innovation. Innovation is one of the main objectives of scientific research these days and many studies, especially in geography, focus on infrastructure and industrialization. The availability of big data (e.g. sensor data, point clouds) provides new possibilities but also offers challenges for the design and management of infrastructure and industry. How future innovations will influence both the technology and the environment of infrastructure and industry, is an important question for the geographers.

  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

    The UN have estimated that two-thirds of the global population will be living in cities by 2050. Next to the pressure on housing and infrastructure caused by this rapid urbanization, cities are also faced with other challenges such as the impacts of climate change, migration and mobility issues. The environmental impact of the urban sprawl, the heat-island effect, vulnerability to disasters, social segregation,... are all issues to be tackled when working towards sustainable cities and communities.

  • Life on Land

    Humans live on the Earth’s surface and have substantially changed it. Land changes have allowed settlement and development, while at the same time landscapes have not always changed for the better. Direct human impacts on the environment have resulted in strong modifications of the geomorphic processes, soils, vegetation and water management. This is the realm of many landscape and physical geographers in Belgium.

Programme

  • 09h00 : Introduction by the Dean
  • 09h15 : Keynote
  • 10h00 : Coffee break
  • 10h20 : Parallel sessions and poster pitch
  • 12h30 : Lunch and poster presentations
  • 14h00 : Parallel sessions
  • 15h40 : Coffee break
  • 16h00 : Parallel sessions
  • 17h40 : Closing words and award ceremony

Programme Teacher Day

Call for papers

Participants and focus

The organizers invite interested participants to submit abstracts and present the latest scientific innovations and developments in the field of geography. We welcome contributions that will broaden our perspectives on the importance of Geography in shaping our future and the future of Geography. As one of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Belgian Geographers Days encourage diversity within the group of the presenting researchers and conveners. In particular, early career academics (PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) are encouraged to submit and present their research. The Belgian Geographer Days will offer a common ground to colleagues from various disciplines where they can meet, interact and exchange their knowledge, experience, plans and ideas on geography for the future of geography.

Themes

The conference themes are inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals and are listed, but not limited to, below.

  • Quality of Life
  • (In)equalities
  • Climate Change
  • Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Life on Land

Submission

All abstracts need to be submitted in the required format by using a provided template before June 30th, 2019 (deadline extended to July 31th 2019) by sending an e-mail to bgd2019@ugent.be. The template and guidelines for authors (described in the template file) can be downloaded below. Please indicate in your abstract in which theme your abstract fits and whether you would prefer an oral or poster presentation. Abstracts will be reviewed, and results will be communicated to the authors, who will then prepare the final abstract.

Download abstract template

Registration

To be announced

Important Dates

  • Abstract due by: June 30th 2019 July 31th 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: July 10th 2019 September 1st 2019
  • Registration opens: July 10th 2019
  • Registration ends: October 1st 2019
  • Conference: October 18th 2019

Venue

The conference will take place at Het Pand, the cultural and congress centre of Ghent University.

Address

Het Pand
Onderbergen 1
9000 Gent
Belgium


Website

www.ugent.be/het-pand


How to reach the venue by public transport from the railway station?

Take tram 1 (direction Evergem or Wondelgem) from Sint-Pieters train station to the stop “Gent Korte Meer”, get off and walk 5 minutes.