Photo: A. Löf/Azote

Urban Social-Ecological Systems Course (USES), 15 hp

Exploring the meaning and challenges of urban sustainability

This course runs full time between March and June each year. We strongly recommend that this course is not combined with other courses running parallel. The schedule is tight, and there are many mandatory seminars and exercises. The course is an independent Masters level course and not part of the Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development Masters Programme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Why take the course?

  • You will get a better understanding of the urban challenge
  • You will learn how to turn theory into action research
  • You will get a condensed experience of what transdisciplinary actually means
  • You will learn how to connect seemingly disparate issues and topics in a systems model

Apply for the course here

Questions? Contact us

Rapid urbanization that is currently taking place poses great challenges as well as exciting opportunities. 60% of the area projected to be urban in 2030 has not yet been built, and we need to do better. To ensure the long-term well-being of urban residents and to reduce urban pressure on global systems future cities need to be just, green, resource efficient, and populated by engaged citizens. This will need a comprehensive understanding of what urban systems are what urbanisation means .

Urban social-ecological systems is a transdisciplinary course where the complexities of cities are explored through a systems lens combining and integrating ecological, social and economic aspects. This lens will allow you to ask hard questions, such as: What does biodiversity have to do with citizens’ well-being? What is urban resilience? What changes of governance are needed to establish and maintain urban sustainable development trajectories?

The course recognises the value of a plurality of perspectives and the co-creation of knowledge, and our instructors represent both multiple academic disciplines and applied work in practice. The lectures will provide state of the art knowledge about urban systems, and explore research frontiers. Linkages between science, policy, and practice are emphasized throughout the course. This connection is both locally anchored, through our long term interactions with the Stockholm metropolitan region, and internationally relevant, due to the extensive network of urban researchers connected to Stockholm Resilience Centre.

In addition to theory and grounded examples, the course will introduce a portfolio of different scientific methods, both quantitative and qualitative, that can be used to substantiate a systems based understanding of cities. Turning theory and methods into action research is the focus of the second part of the course where you will design and run a field based project applying the theoretical frame and methodological approaches learned during the course.

Please explore the course content further by reading the USES 2018 course syllabus and literature list (see links in "Read More" box). A detailed course syllabus for 2019 and required readings will be available four weeks before the course starting date.

Admittance to the course requires knowledge equivalent to 180 credits, including a minimum of 75 credits in any of the disciplines biology, geography, history, political science, architecture and urban planning.

Apply for the course here

Questions? Contact us

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201