What can geographers do for shrinking geographies?



For parts of the sparsely populated areas, the trends of globalisation, urbanisation and deindustrialisation constitute difficult circumstances. Population decline, escalating dependency ratios, lack of human and financial resources, and diminishing commercial and public services form part of lived experience in many of these areas. This paper discusses what geographers can do for these territories. The paper suggests that geographers can aid in understanding and demonstrating (a) how resources have been distributed in space over time and (b) why patterns of resource distribution take the shape they do. Geographers can also illuminate (c) what it means to live, work, and operate in shrinking, rural territories. Geographers could also (d) make implicit geographical imaginations explicit, (e) elucidate how shrinkage is dealt with by various policy actors, and (f) point to alternative policy directions. The paper also suggests that geographers in the Nordic countries could enrich an international research field of studies of shrinkage by (g) providing case studies or comparative studies from a Nordic context.

How to Cite

Syssner, J. (2023). What can geographers do for shrinking geographies? . Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 200(2), 98–119. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.120536