Preparation of this collection of essays dealing with a range of issues that span the discipline of geography was both a challenging and a rewarding experience. The challenge of bringing together and coordinating the efforts of over forty leading authorities working in a wide variety of fields was facilitated by a shared belief in the value of an applied or problem-oriented approach to geographical investigation. My personal academic reward came with the intellectual stimulation provided by exposure to the wealth of knowledge generated by this particular collective of applied geographers.
The end result is a book that illuminates the power of an applied geographical approach address many of the social, economic and environmental problems that confront modern societies as they enter the third millennium. The book represents a benchmark of the state of applied geography as well as a signpost and catalyst for future work.
Each chapter was written by an acknowledged authority in the field, and I should like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the timely and efficient manner in which they each responded to my various editorial requests,
As always, the greatest debt is owed to my family for their forbearance during the preparation of this book—to my wife Christine for her support throughout the course of the project, to to my son Michael for his computing skills, and to my daughter Emma for helping with the index.