The world is turning increasingly urban with more than five billion people projected to live in cities by 2030. City planners are faced with the conundrum of balancing the urban development with the subsequent strain it will have on ecosystem services such as water, storm protection, flood mitigation and biodiversity.
- We need new models and perspectives in order to face these challenges, where the cities interact better with crucial ecosystems, says centre researcher Stephan Barthel.
Bringing nature back into the city
Together with fellow centre researchers Henrik Ernstson and Johan Colding, Barthel has helped carve out the vision for what will be the world's first university campus based on resilience principles (pdf, 54.7 MB). (Please note: if you use Firefox, you will have to download a PDF add-on. Download it here.)
The essence of the project is to present ways to facilitate urban development while preserving crucial ecosystems and green areas.
With Stockholm University in dire need for added campus space, Barthel, Ernstson and Colding partnered with researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and architectures from KIT-arkitektur to develop a vision for a new campus area, the Albano Resilience Campus.
Located within the Stockholm National Urban Park and part of Stockholm Science City, the researchers argue that the Albano can serve as a model for sustainable urban development.
Receiving its Italian-sounding name from King Gustav the Third, Albano provides a gateway between the city and the national urban park for birds and other migrating animals. It is also considered to be an optimal rural-urban link when it comes to pollination, seed shed and water services.
- Creating space and options for multiple uses will enhance the possibilities for a vivid development of the Albano area, Barthel says.
Based on principles of sustainable urban planning, the area should act as a green artery that can manage the constant flow of humans and activities while at the same time preserve crucial ecosystems and enhancing existing cultural and natural aspects of the park.
- The Albano area can become an important piece in a social-ecological system, where animals and ecosystems have the space and accessibility equal to that of humans. It will create a passage between the divided east and west part of the National Urban city park as well creating an opening from the stone town towards the greener north, says Stephan Barthel.