Ernst Neef


A scheme of side-processes relevant for environmental development

Ernst Neef

Geographia Polonica (1977) vol. 36, pp. 157-163 | Full text

Further information


For about 30 years the author has been elaborating—within the planning of the rebuilding of Dresden and its region — regularities in the development of cultivated landscapes, which may be important for the systematic arran-gement of functions in a limited territory. One of the results was published in a study 1951 dealing with the problem of causality in the development of culti-vated landscapes. The process systematically introduced by the society in order to secure the fixed necessities of life must be sharply separated from unexpect-ed side-processes leading to negative effects in the landscape. These processes cause the so-called side-effects. They play an important and steadily increasing role in environmental research work. At that time a constructive organization of the territory and the relations between man and environment were still not a problem. First of all the study was an analysis of historical examples. Mean-while the international interest has turned more and more to the problems of environment, and social sciences have begun to study the behaviour of social groups to environmental phenomena. The interpretation of the scheme publish-ed in the study mentioned above can give some hints for investigations in envi-ronmental problems. It shows that natural and social aspects must be combined in order to control environmental situations. It is one of the mtost important tasks of the organization of research work in the next years to avoid the isola-ted work of the different disciplines. The mental control of any discrepancy in the environment must be based on the analysis of natural and social sciences. First of all there are psychical and mental links which connect the starting point of (considerations about) negative changes in the environment with the decision to correcting actions.

Ernst Neef, Institute of Geography, Technical University, Dresden, German Democratic Republic