Sparsely populated areas: a new geographic category?

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Rural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 4:00 PM / 5:15 PM
Room: Plaza Court 8, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Organizers: François-Michel LE TOURNEAU
Chairs: François-Michel LE TOURNEAU

Call for Submissions

This session is looking for papers describing characteristics and challenges of sparsely populated areas and their inhabitants across the world, especially when they can give material for a comparative approach. Local monographies are welcome as well as broader studies. Economic, demographic, social or ethnological approaches are welcome as the study of sparsely populated areas needs to encompass all the aspects that relate to them.


The Amazon forests, the Northern artic regions, the Australian bush or Siberian plains all have very low demographic densities but they are rarely studied as pertaining to a same global category. It appears however that when considering sparsely populated areas (SPA) globally they share not only demographic characteristics but also a number of features in their spatial and social configuration and more importantly in visions of nature or the environment, which make them different from more densely populated areas. This point is far from anecdotal, since, contrary to common assumptions, SPA are still largely dominant today on Earth in terms of extension. Considering them as a unique category can therefore be an important step forward in cross-continental rural studies.
The point of this session is to bring together studies of different areas which have the common point of being sparsely populated and to reflect on common features and challenges that can be pointed out as general characteristics in SPA. The aim is to start to provide the grounds for the a global geography of sparsely populated areas which could become a new sub-area in our discipline.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter François-Michel LE TOURNEAU*, National Center for Scientific Research, Sparsely populated areas: a new geographic category? 15 4:00 PM
Presenter Raimundo Nonato*, UFRN, Lucas Rodrigues*, UFRN, Júlia Oliveira*, UFRN, Rodrigo Freitas Amorim, UFRN, Lorene Barbosa Brasil, UFRN, Sparsely populated areas in the semi-arid region of Brazil: territorial impacts from the São Francisco river’s transposition 15 4:15 PM
Presenter Rodrigo Amorim*, Federal University of Brazil - UFRN, Raimundo Nonato Júnior, UFRN, The same drylands landscape in different times: the sparsely populated areas in the Brazilian Sertão 15 4:30 PM
Presenter Peter Newton*, University of Colorado, Andrew Kinzer, Eden Reforestation Projects, Daniel Charles Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johan Oldekop, University of Manchester, Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan, The number and spatial distribution of forest-proximate people globally 15 4:45 PM

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