GPE provides insight into the world we live in
Changing relationships between people and their environment
Geographers, planners and environmental scientists are concerned with the design of the space in which we and other people live, both near and far. That space is constantly changing.
An example: One of the major trends in the world is globalization, which leads to massive shifts in production patterns and relationships between countries. In China, new megacities rise faster than one can count. The explosive industrial production of cities like Beijing causes many negative impacts on water, soil and air. All over the world the Chinese are searching for energy, raw materials and food. In Africa and Latin America, multinational corporations (from China and other origines) are buying millions of hectares of farmland with major consequences for the local food supply and economy in African and Latin American regions. Local regions and economies are thus highly influenced by dynamics elsewhere in todays globalized world.

One education, three angles
This is an example from the dozens with which geographers Nijmegen, planners and environmental scientists are engaged. In all three, the (changing) relationship between man and environment is at the center. Geographers analyze the behavior of people, companies and institutions; planners determine how to intervene in spatial development, while environmental scientists mainly look at the consequences for nature and the environment.
Because they deal in various angles with the same themes and work together often professionally, they are united in Nijmegen. Therefore the bachelor’s program begins with a common program of eighteen months for all geographers, planners and environmental scientists. Then students can gradually specialize in one of three directions. In the master (the fourth year), students choose for one of the master programs, either in human geography, spatial planning, or environmental sciences. In each master program, there are different specializations: six for human geography, four for spatial planning and two in environmental sciences. Except specializations in the form of training (social geography, planning or environmental social sciences) students can also thematically assert themselves in the direction of e.g. urban development, economic geography, sustainable development issues, Europe, smart cities, etc.

What can you become?
Geographers, planners and environmental scientists find employment in many sectors of society: consultants (Haskoning, Arcadis, Grontmij, DHV), developers, housing associations, public authorities (ministries, provinces, municipalities), education (from high schools to universities), research, civil society organizations (Nature & Environment, Novib). You meet them in the most diverse functions because they, like few others, are trained extensively in connecting and bridiging various disciplines. In Nijmegen, they have, from the beginning, been trained to think in an integrated manner and communicate about complex topics in a multidisciplinary environment.

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