GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 1049-1069.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201806001

• Perspectives and Contention •     Next Articles

How to revive geography: Our reflection and practice

Yungang LIU1(), Dadao LU2, Jigang BAO1, Chao YE3, Maolin TANG4, Yu LIU5, Yaolong ZHAO6, Zhangxian FENG7, Xiaojun HUANG8, Qing HAO9, Gengzhi HUANG10, Fenglong WANG11, Zongcai WEI12, Li WANG13, Yang XIE14, Liyun QIAN15   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    4. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, China
    5. Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    6. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    7. Department of Geography , Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
    8. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    9. The Key Laboratory of Resource Environmental Bearing Capacity Evaluation of Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 101149, China
    10. Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangzhou 510070, China
    11. Institute of Urban Development and Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    12. School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
    13. School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
    14. Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo 1088636, Japan
    15. School of Sociology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2018-03-15 Revised:2018-05-15 Online:2018-06-10 Published:2018-06-10
  • About author:

    Author: Shi Zhenqin (1988-), PhD, specialized in regional development and land space management in mountain areas. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Deng Wei (1957-), Professor, specialized in mountain environment and regional development.



Geography is an ancient discipline, yet it is also continuously evolving. Especially in China, geography has been developing rapidly in the past 30 years. However, with the emergence of more and more branches and sub-disciplines, we are facing increasing confusions about geography. For the consideration of construction of geography discipline and its academic community, we are in an urgent need to find a "consensus" on the development of geography and explore the definition of geography community. To this end, we organized a series of workshops and conferences last year to provide a platform for different generations of geographers to express their opinions on how to promote the development of geography in China. This article is a summary of the viewpoints based on the recordings of the conference. In general, several consensuses have been reached as follows: (1) In teaching, we should enhance the comprehensiveness of courses of geography and strengthen the training of methods for geographical investigation and research; (2) In academic research, we should strengthen the summary of the paradigms in geography, provide more comprehensive explanations of "geo" and accelerate the integration and innovation in geographical theories and methods; (3) In disciplinary development, we should highlight the construction of regional geography, emphasize the national and local needs in policy-making, and demonstrate the contribution of geography. We hope that with our joint efforts, both the discipline and community of Chinese geography will be growing stronger in the future.

Key words: geographical community, physical geography, human geography, GIS, regional geography, comprehensiveness, locality