Deutsch: Umweltgeographie / Español: geografía ambiental / Português: geografia ambiental / Français: géographie environnementale / Italiano: geografia ambientale

Environmental geography in the environmental context refers to the branch of geography that studies the interactions between human activity and the natural environment. This interdisciplinary field combines aspects of physical geography, which focuses on the natural landscape, with human geography, which examines the ways in which human societies influence and are influenced by the natural world.


Environmental geography investigates how human structures, from cities to agriculture to industries, interact with various environmental systems such as climates, ecosystems, and water resources. It seeks to understand the spatial aspects of environmental processes and how they are affected by human activity. Topics often explored within this field include land use changes, water resource management, sustainability practices, and the impact of human activities on natural systems.

Application Areas

Environmental geography applies to numerous practical and policy-related fields, including:

  • Urban planning: Analyzing the environmental impacts of urban development and implementing green infrastructure to mitigate these effects.
  • Conservation: Developing strategies to preserve natural landscapes and biodiversity in the face of human encroachment.
  • Resource management: Ensuring sustainable management of natural resources such as water, soil, and forests.
  • Environmental impact assessment: Evaluating the potential environmental effects of development projects and recommending ways to minimize negative impacts.

Well-Known Examples

Examples of issues studied in environmental geography include the impact of deforestation in the Amazon on biodiversity and climate regulation, the effects of urban sprawl on natural habitats and water quality, and the role of wetlands in flood mitigation.

Treatment and Risks

Environmental geography helps to address various environmental risks such as habitat destruction, pollution, and resource depletion by providing a spatial understanding of these processes and their interactions with human activities. The field supports the development of policies and practices that aim to balance environmental conservation with human needs.

Similar Terms

Related disciplines include environmental science, which is broader and encompasses the physical, biological, and chemical aspects of environmental systems; ecology, the study of organisms and their interactions with each other and their environment; and geographic information systems (GIS), which are tools used extensively in environmental geography to analyze spatial data.


Environmental geography is an essential field that merges the study of natural landscapes and ecosystems with human societal impacts. It plays a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges through the understanding and management of the spatial dynamics of human-environment interactions.


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