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Integrated Geographies of Risk, Natural Hazards and Sustainability—2nd Edition

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Hazards and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2025 | Viewed by 86

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Italian National Research Council, Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: disaster studies; human geography; geoethics; risk perception and communication
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Culture and Society, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Interests: cultural geography; geography of risk; geopolitics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 1980s, the French school of geography introduced a new approach known as the “geography of risk”. Focusing on the impact and responsibility of human factors, this theory explores social, institutional, and economic dimensions of risk and how they intersect with the effects of extreme natural events that culminate in disasters. Consequently, the risks associated with natural hazards are frequently studied from the perspective of physical geography, with an emphasis on the material aspects of natural phenomena, hence, collaborations between physical and human geography have become primary in dealing with the issue of risk. This “mixed-method” geographical analysis, in fact, allows us to consider risk as a complex phenomenon within territorial ecosystems, involving multi-scalar and multi-dimensional interactions between environments, flora, fauna, and human beings. In the 1990s, studies related to the geography of risk became integrated with other disciplines, such as sociology and psychology, deepening the analysis of territorial actors, as well as cultural and public perceptions and representations of risk.

Risk, in recent years, has become a fully fledged geographical object/subject. For instance, physical geography deals with the risks associated with extreme natural events; health geography studies epidemiological and health risks; urban geography explores social risks; and political geography, in addition to other foci in cultural and historical geography, considers risk and conflict in terms of time and the critical spatialities encompassing human and environmental threats. Progressively, within the broad umbrella of geography, the barriers that bar cooperation with the other social sciences, and the “hard sciences” and engineering, have become depleted.

According to the definition attributed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), disasters result when a natural or human-induced hazard adversely impacts human settlements that lack disaster preparedness, and whose populations are vulnerable as a result of poverty, exclusion, or other social disadvantages. The consequences of disasters linked to natural hazards, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions, could, in fact, be reduced through science, technology, and effective communication by the implementation of information and educational campaigns aimed at reducing social, economic, institutional, and environmental vulnerability.

Reducing social vulnerability can be achieved by implementing the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as signed by the governments of 193 UN member countries. This agenda considers the social issues integral to development, including the fight against poverty, the elimination of hunger, the reduction of inequalities, spreading quality education globally, achieving greater social justice and peace, and gender equality, in addition to the redesign of cities and communities to make them more sustainable.

We invite papers that discuss holistic approaches that integrate methods of human, cultural, and physical geography to explore concepts of risk and sustainability in the context of the complex relationship between disasters and the idiosyncrasy of the human condition.

This Special Issue aims to present both theoretical contributions and case studies, and topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dialogue on issues between physical and human geography;
  • Geography of risk;
  • Vulnerability dimension reduction;
  • Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals to reduce disasters on a global or local scale;
  • Environmental and social justice in new cities;
  • Disasters: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery;
  • Risk communication, education, and social perception;
  • Historical memory and the representation of disasters;
  • Disasters and cultural heritage;
  • Adaptive capacity and urban resilience;
  • GIS, neogeography, and new technologies for investigations of natural hazards and climate change;
  • Disaster governance and community-based approaches.

Dr. Francesco De Pascale
Dr. Leonardo Mercatanti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • climate change
  • disasters
  • human geography
  • geography of risk
  • natural hazards
  • physical geography
  • social perception
  • sustainability
  • vulnerability

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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