Time geography and landscape research – existing relations and future possibilities

Authors: Tomas Germundsson*, Lund University
Topics: Landscape, Geographic Thought
Keywords: time geography, landscape, landscape research, Hägerstrand
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bayside C, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper investigates the role of “landscape” in Torsten Hägerstrand’s development of time geography and the role time geography might play in landscape research. Firstly the paper aims at demonstrating how Hägerstrand’s constant returning to this central – but disputed – geographic concept was intertwined with the aims he had with the time geographic approach. This is reflected both in his earlier works on time geography – at the time he posed the question “What about people in regional science?” (1970) – and in later works that explored the conditions for a sounder way of bringing nature, society and technology together in order to support the strive for a more sustainable future, for instance in his 1993 paper ‘Samhälle och natur’ (“Society and Nature”) (published only in Swedish). In this work time geography was employed as tool to develop Hägerstrand’s own ideas about landscape as a useful concept when investigating the situated environment as a totality. Secondly, the paper – through examples mainly from a Swedish context – demonstrates that several concerns dealt with in current landscape geography, involving both ecological and societal dimensions, do benefit from an exploration of a time geography approach. It is lastly argued that further such explorations could help analyze the conditions for landscape changes, integrating a wholeness perspective (‘on the ground and through time’) with questions of power, control and politics. The paper thereby connects to a wider discussion on how time geography can contribute to the development of future geographical research.

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