The contemporary world is facing a fast-paced urban growth with approximately 54% of the world population living in cities as of 2015. Resulting from this extraordinary growth we are facing many issues to be solved. Urban slums continue to grow, communities struggle with waste management, air pollution and sanitation. The growth of urban land
versus the growth of urban population is lowering the density of cities and inevitably raising our dependency on unsustainable modes of transport. (United Nations, 2017) Geographers have an essential position in solving these challenges. The theme covers some very fruitful topics for geographers of all specializations, here are just a few examples:
Uncontrolled urbanization leads to many unprecedented challenges regarding spatial
planning, land and housing policies, and urban culture. It gives a strong turf for a human
geographical perspective.
Waste is a constantly growing time-bomb in our society. Therefore, to build sustainable communities, waste management is a vital topic for research as well as planning and policymaking.
Hydrology as a discipline has a key role on topics such as catastrophe modelling, flood
prevention, or water quality and supply.
Nature suffers from urbanisation, unsustainable farming and forestry and species are losing their natural habitats. This gives space for physical geographers, biologists and climatologists to research and map possible solutions to preserve our natural environment in the future.
Sustainable transport systems are needed to decrease the air and noise pollution in cities, to reduce emissions and to make the urban environment more liveable to us, humans.
These are just examples of a variety of different approaches that can be covered by EGEA 2020 Theme Year.

 

 

What can EGEA do?
This EGEA 2020 theme gives many options for entities to plan their events, EGEA Europe to engage into partnerships, and committees to plan their activities. EGEA can create impact on the society around us and simultaneously the theme will provide a great innovation arena for entities to organise scientific events. After the year 2020, we will combine all the material from events, all the publications and possibly come up with a report or statement on various different forums, such as the European Youth Forum. Local events can have a concrete impact on local waste reduction, student policies and even policymaking on a wider scale. Here are some examples of how EGEA will implement the theme:
 
United Nations 2017. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Report of the Secretary-General. Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.