Guest editors
Tomas Hanell, University of Helsinki, Finland,
Teemu Makkonen, University of Eastern Finland, Finland,, Lead guest editor
Daniel Rauhut, University of Eastern Finland, Finland,

Call for abstracts will be closed on 15 September 2020.



There is an emerging scientific interest in the connection between well-being (WB) or quality of life (QoL) on the one hand, and place on the other. Within regional science, this interest originates from lacking evidence on spatial variations in WB or QoL and the determinants for these, combined with the implications that this knowledge gap has for practical regional or planning policy justification, formulation and evaluation. Also, from the point of view of the individual person, the contemporary research front is vacillating concerning the role that space plays in defining WB or QoL. Accordingly, non-geographic disciplines examining different dimensions of WB or QoL (such as psychology, sociology or economics) have acknowledged that adding a spatial dimension to the subject would substantially enrich the existing pool of knowledge. Furthermore, there is an embryonic body of evidence pointing in the direction that differing combinations of inequality or inequity (e.g. intra-regional, and/or intra-personal) within WB or QoL would also act as a substantial determinant for aggregated regional differences. Moreover, such mechanisms appear to be sensitive to contextual settings at a multitude of spatial scales, which further justifies adding a geographic element to the topic. Finally, the emergence of new data sources for subjective content information on WB or QoL certainly also act as an impetus for further investigation.

Thematically, this Special Issue covers four main themes:

1) Drivers behind WB or QoL in a spatial setting;

2) Theoretical and conceptual perspectives on WB or QoL and how these are practically operationalised at differing spatial scales and contexts;

3) Measurement issues of WB or QoL (e.g. how objective and subjective content indicators intertwine) in a spatial setting; and

4) Policy implications of WB or QoL at differing territorial levels of administration and for different types of territorial contexts.

As we are dealing with a truly interdisciplinary scientific field, we foresee contributions not restricted to traditional human geography alone, but also look forward to input from related fields like sociology, political science, economics or health sciences. We welcome empirical or methodological analyses equally as we do theoretical contributions to the topic. In line with the journal’s focus, the submitted papers should be focussed on giving evidences by means of indicators, models, methods and data, or through assessments of quantitative governance associated with spatial aspects related to WB or QoL. Through such an interdisciplinary and multi-methodological dialogue, we hope to enhance our understanding of how local, regional and urban development and policy can be depicted or analysed through different conceptualisations of WB or QoL.


Please submit a structured abstract of no more than 500 words to one of the three above listed guest editors no later than 15 September 2020. Please note that the Social Indicators Research’s submission platform will not be able to handle these abstracts. Following the assessment by the guest editors, authors of accepted abstracts are invited to submit their full paper through the journal’s submission portal. If accepted, we welcome contributions of around 7,500 words (a minimum of 5,000 words and a maximum of 10,000 words) including references. The deadline for submission of main contributions is 30 April 2021.

This is an open call, as well as a publishing opportunity for papers accepted to the Special Session on “Geographic inequity in well-being and quality of life” at the (postponed) 2020 Regional Studies Association Annual Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The official call text can be found here: