//Entries by Bernard Elissalde

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Polycentrism refers to a mode of organisation of space comprising units that each have different degrees of centrality. The use of the term “centre”, or the qualifier “central”, suggests an idea of concentration, weight, and/or decisional power in comparison to the rest of the entity considered. Synonymity with the words “poly-nuclear” and “multipolar” has long […]

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In its broadest meaning, a resource is an element providing some usefulness for human societies. Traditionally in this category are energy and raw materials, but also information and human potential. A resource does not exist per se. A natural element acquires the status of a resource only at the moment when a society uses it […]

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The notion of risk provides a means of evaluating the eventuality of a danger or peril, or a break in the balance in the interactions between nature and societies. Risk only exists if human groups and their territorial settlements could potentially be affected by the destruction that would follow upon a catastrophe. The degree of […]

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In common language, situation of an object on the Earth surface is the same as its position. In everyday use, both terms: situation and position, are used indiscriminately. They refer to reference points conventionally designated by means of an explicit reference system, namely geographical coordinates (latitude, longitude). In geographical discourse, situation defines a relative location […]

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Spatial structure

The word structure comes from Latin struere which means to build, to arrange, and contains the notion of an organised thing. Spatial structures exist, because geographical space is not constituted by a set of unique places, occupying random locations. The successive choices of actors and, more broadly, the answers given by societies to the issue […]

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A French term, ‘terrain’ (terrain / ground / field) , used in social science and in natural science to designate elements of the lithosphere (e.g., ‘sedimentary terrains’) as well as the place, and by extension the subject,of research. For numerous researchers, ‘in the field’ activity represents one of the essential dimensions of their disciplinary method. […]