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All-ecology – Hägerstrand’s thinking about human-environment interactions

Journal article
Authors Marie Stenseke
Published in Landscape Research
ISSN 0142-6397
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Department of Economy and Society
Language en
Keywords Sustainability challenges, environmental management, landscape, social–ecological systems
Subject categories Human Geography


In the urgent search for pathways towards more sustainable futures, one major conceptual issue is how to reframe the relationship between humans and their environment. To this end, this article explores Torsten Hägerstrand’s thinking about human–environment interactions and reflects on how it is related to more recent approaches, given their potential contributions to understanding and managing sustainability challenges. Several of Hägerstrand’s texts, selected for their relevance to the human–environment interface, are examined, seeking key aspects of his human–environment ontology, his perspective on humans in relation to non-humans, and what he perceived as his contributions to environmental management. Certain attention is given to Hägerstrand’s understanding of ‘landscape’. The article concludes that in seeking sustainable pathways, Hägerstrand’s ideas have potential for improving contemporary science on sustainability issues, comprehending the materiality of humans and their actions, adding to the multiple perspectives needed to address the complexity of sustainability challenges, and improving interdisciplinarity.

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