Researcher (Centre associate)

+46 8 673 95 39



Profile summary

  • Ecosystem services
  • Urban ecology
  • Institutions and property rights
  • Urban resilience building
  • Urban planning and design

Johan Colding’s research focuses on ecosystem services in relation to urban planning and design

Colding is currently employed as one of the leaders for the theme urban social-ecological systems, and is also an affiliated associate professor at the Beijer Institute (KVA).

Colding's main interests cover urban planning and design from a resilience perspective. He is currently involved in the development of the new research frontier known as social-ecological urbanism, where interlinking of urban services and ecosystem services is a key mission, and where institutions (norms and rules) and the city's built form are regarded as key tools to build resilience.

Colding also works a senior researcher within Live Baltic Campus (LBC), a new research project aimed at developing campuses as innovation hubs by creating better urban environments for businesses and residents. It brings together city planners, government representatives, campus developers, and stakeholders to utilise university campuses as laboratories for achieving sustainable development in the central Baltic region. The project aims to create a network of practitioners that will enhance knowledge transfer in the region and create a working method for participative urban planning.

Colding holds a PhD in Natural Resource Management from the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University. He also has a background as a cultural scientist. He served as a research coordinator in the Swedish sub-global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) that focused on the greater Stockholm region.

In 2003, he co-edited a book titled Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change, which explores governance questions for social-ecological systems informed by complexity and resilience theories. He has been on the editorial board of ECOSYSTEMS, Nature & Society, and Landscape and Urban Planning. He is especially interested in research related to ‘social-ecological’ designs that better account for ecosystem processes and a wider participation of stakeholders in urban systems. Within the SRC, he is leading Stockholm urban research that sets out to merge recent streams in ecology and urban spatial planning.

Colding has conducted a series of development projects with public actors in society, resulting in both scientific publications and more policy-orientated outcomes. Among others this includes collaborative work with the Stockholm County Council and Office of Regional Planning, The Swedish Golf Association, and the Stockholm University. His ambition is to deepen and consolidate this collaboration within an academically stronger urban network that will cooperate with EAT, GRAID and the Future Earth research initiative.

Colding also is a:

  • Member of the city planning group for Albano sustainable campus
  • Member of the international working group within The Scandinavian Turfgrass Research Foundation for sustainable development of golf courses
  • Founding member of research network ‘Hej Tätort!’ (‘Hello Urbanity!’), Stockholm Resilience Centre and Beijer Institute
  • Member of Live Baltic Campus network group

Awards and achievements:

  • Awarded for honorary achievements in research related to sustainability science and biodiversity conservation by King Carl XVI Gustaf (2002) for the PhD thesis: Local Institutions, Biological Conservation and Management of Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Served as research coordinator for the Swedish Sub-Global assessment, The Stockholm Urban Assessment, within the UN-supported program The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003-2005)
  • Appointed as senior lecturer and associate professor in Sustainable Urban Development Stockholm, Department of Environmental Strategies Research (FMS), ABE School, KTH, Stockholm, October 2014
  • Member in the LIVE BALTIC CAMPUS Network Group
  • Member in the city planning group for Albano sustainable campus
  • Member in the international working group within The Scandinavian Turfgrass Research Foundation for sustainable development of golf courses
  • Has served in the editorial board in the internationally renowned scientific journals ECOSYSTEMS, Ecology and Society, and Landscape and Urban Planning

Staff details


Publications by Colding, Johan