Human Geography, Planning and International Development


Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO)

The disciplines within the GPIO department are characterised by:

  • a spatial perspective;
  • an interdisciplinary orientation;
  • a focus on urban issues, globalisation and environmental justice;
  • a tradition of diversity in terms of research methods;
  • involvement in the societal debate. 

Human Geography

Human Geography studies the relationship between people and the environment and focuses on the way in which social phenomena and processes manifest themselves spatially and how the environment influences human action. 


Planning makes a scientific contribution to spatial development, planning and organisation and reflects on these areas, focusing on the institutional aspects of spatial action.

International Development Studies

International Development Studies looks at the transformation of political, social, cultural and economic processes in low-income countries and how processes of governance can affect inequalities and poverty at various levels of scale. Place, space, location and scale (local, regional, national, global) are key concepts within all GPIO disciplines.


Human geography and planning both have clear links with the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, political science, public administration), the humanities (history, history of architecture, heritage studies), natural sciences (earth sciences, environmental sciences, civil engineering, urban design, architecture and construction engineering), economics and law.

23 January 2015