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Sustainable Urban Development

Geography is about understanding the world around us; the countries, landscapes, cultures and climates. It is all about where we live. Geographical studies touches upon nature, order of the world, about what sustains unchanged by the rapid social and technological changes. All the human and physical features that geographical research are devoted to are essential factors to be taken into account by many research projects of other disciplines, be it history, politics, economics, transportation or other. Thus geography is placed well in the interdisciplinary quilt of Vilnius Institute for Advanced Studies. 

Geographical position of Lithuania is a specific one in Europe. Placed in the very center of the European sub-continent (according to the research of the French National Geographic Institute the geographical center of Europe is located just 26 kilometers north from Vilnius) it is being considered either an Eastern European or Northern European country. The crossroad position of the country determines it to be in centuries-long political tensions with bigger international powers. However it has also allowed Lithuania to become the prime transport center of the region. It should also be noted that the port Klaipeda is the northernmost ice-free port in Europe although Lithuania is famous for its winters that can end in the beginning of May and its summers that can last two weeks only and be totally occupied by rains (rain giving the very name of Lithuania, namely lietus – Lietuva).

Geography and demography are hardly separable. Environment is being constantly conditioned by the people that live within it while environment in its own turn determines features of the corresponding populations. Demography in Lithuania engages in issues that are common for the whole Europe, aging population being the most pressing among them. However Lithuania faces country-specific demographic challenges also. The country has lost almost a third of its population in a decade due to the highest rate of emigration among the EU member states. Health issues are also posing issues in terms of demography. The country is lagging behind most Member States of the EU on life expectancy, age-standardized mortality from all causes is the second highest in the EU, deaths from ischemic heart disease, alcohol-related causes, as well as mortality amenable to health-care intervention, are among the highest in Europe.

One of the important demographic changes Lithuania has experienced during the last 100 years is a turn from purely rural country into a state where two-thirds of population lives in towns and cities. Urban living directs rhythms and rituals of its own, with nightlife and traffic jams, heterogeneous neighborhoods and invisible neighbors, everything that was foreign and hardly imaginable just less than a century ago. Urbanization has led to disappearance of traditional ways of life and the new lifestyles and pathways of life being built, new types of social, environmental and economic problems being formed. Emptying villages and growing major cities of Lithuania discloses importance of urban studies, a discipline that takes much from sociology, anthropology, architecture, transportation, criminology and other fields of research in searching for answers posed by urban living and the urban cultures.






Immigration and Internal Mobility

Spatial and Environmental Justice

Root Causes of Migration

Urban Europe

Urban Subcultures

Urban Families

Urban Safety and Security

Street Art and Graffiti

Gender Differences in Suicide

Demographic Loss and Alcohol Consumption

Premature Mortallity

Resilient Cities

Graffiti and Latrinalia

Historical Regionalism

Alcohol-Related Mortality

Midlife Male Mortality

Social Epidemiology

Demographic Differentials

Sustainability of Population Change