Theme leader of urban social-ecological systems
Phone + 46 8 16 27 02
Staff profile
Stephan Barthel's research revolves around aspects in relation to management of urban ecosystem services and resilience. Focus is on social as well as ecological features that influence management practices.

The empirical case studies has been performed in Stockholm, Sweden, including allotment areas, cemeteries, city parks, as well as a large urban national park. Methods include ecological inventories and studies of maps, field observations, questionnaires, deep interviews and literature analysis. In my research i show that urban ecosystem services are a product of human driven co-evolution, consequently sustaining them in urban landscapes is not about conservation without people, but shaped by and dependent on management practice by people.

Practice that links to generation of ecosystem services are facilitated by social-ecological memory of local communities-of-practice that holds long term management rights. Consequently, local communities of practice, which contribute to the production of ecosystem services should explicitly be taken into account in urban green governance of urban landscapes.

Sustainable Urban Planning for Ecosystem services and Resilience, which focuses on exploring the theoretical and practical insights how ecosystem services can be integrated in urban spatial planning for resilience building of urban landscapes.

Urban Mind
This project is based in ancient history and archeology at Uppsala University. Barthel's part of this project focuses on the deep history of Istanbul for generating novel insights from history and archeology about urban resilience.

Urban Atlas
This is a web-based popular science portal for increasing knowledge about urban ecosystem services and resilience.

Summary of selected papers
Bartel et al. (2005) shows that the urban landscape owes it current flow of ecosystem services to co-evolutionary processes and that green governance with the aim of sustaining such them must take into account historical property rights and the involvement of a diversity of actor groups, as well as landscape ecological processes in the higher panarchy.

Anderson, Barthel and Ahrne (2007) studies allotment gardens, cemeteries and city parks in relation to the generation of pollination, seed dispersal and pest regulation. Differences in social features are reflected primary as higher abundance of pollinators in the informally managed allotment gardens and as differences in the compositions of seed dispersers and insectivores´ birds. Thus, voluntary, informal and often ignored actor groups, motivated by sense-of-place, play an important role for the generation of some ecosystem services here.

Barthel et al, (/In review in GEC/) shows how local management practice, linked the production of ecosystem services, is retained and stored among allotment gardeners, and modified and transmitted through time, by means of social-ecological memory (SE-memory). SE-memory is an emergent property of a dual process of participation and reification and it facilitates monitoring of local change and links practice, often in habits, to place specific processes that underlie ecosystem services.

Ernstson, Barthel et al. (/accepted in E&S/) explores how spatial scale mismatches between ecological process and processes of management can be bridged by a spatially explicit and flexible social network structure of governance.

2009-09-28 | Sturle Hauge Simonsen

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Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B | Phone: +46 8 674 70 70 | E-mail: