Foto: Nejc Kavka

Department of Geography

Research program P6-0229

Sustainable regional development of Slovenia (2017 to 2021)

Research within the program "Sustainable Regional Development of Slovenia" represents the framework for the scientific research development of the Department of Geography, while also providing infrastructural support to research.

In light of the multiplying environmental and social changes we face, which are becoming more unpredictable as well as unavoidable, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to adapt systemically to many (predictable and unpredictable) changes, establish adequate integrated and sectoral adaptation policies, and above all introduce systematic learning and education for new patterns of behavior, awareness, recognition, and response.

As part of the activity of the program group, in addition to systematic research on the valuation and the possibility of using (regional) resources, particular attention is given to the following areas:

  • investigation of selected changes in the environment with special reference to the challenges of adapting regions and populations to these changes,
  • investigation of various aspects of responsiveness or resilience of adaptation of Slovenian regions to selected changes in the environment as well as wider social changes,
  • focused research of particular components of the environment and current social and spatial processes.

Slovenia has development potential for achieving a higher level of well-being for the population of all its regions. We find important differences among Slovenian regions in their ability to respond flexibly and adapt to changes in the environment, and these are reflected in many different forms of (un)sustainable regional development. In addition to studying various forms and possibilities of assessing resilience (response) to changes in the environment, we also research the possibilities (and the impact) of responding to changes in the environment that lead to more sustainable forms of regional development.

The concept of socio-ecological resilience is therefore important for the content of the program because it emphasizes the interdependence of social and environmental dynamics and suggests the need for adaptation and change (and not just the ability to mitigate shocks and return to “normal”). Previous research has confirmed that encouraging the development of more responsive/resilient regions and a resilient society is key to achieving the future sustainable (regional) development of Slovenia, and as part of our research we address specific areas and content that are crucial for future sustainable development.