Researcher (Centre affiliate)

+46 8 673 97 08



Profile summary

  • Ecosystem services
  • Quantitative methods
  • Food security
  • Sustainable urban planning
  • Valuing resilience under climate change
  • Biodiversity
  • Green and grey infrastructure
  • Human health in an urban context

Åsa Gren’s research focuses on sustainable and resilient urban development in the context of ecosystem services, and she is also an urban theme leader

Gren, together with Johan Colding and Stephan Barthel, lead the urban theme at SRC. Within this context, Gren research aims at operationalizing the incorporation of ecosystem services and their benefits (including provisioning, regulating, and cultural services) into both economic decision making, as well as sustainable urban planning processes, using a social-ecological systems framework.

She is in the process of forming a network with relevant economists, drawing from the Beijer Institute networks, and is also continuing work already in progress with architects and modellers at Chalmers University in Gothenburg.

At the Resilience conference 2017, she also plans on merging these two networks via a session titled “Integrating spatial explicit economic decision making with cutting edge land use planning for sustainable and resilient ecosystem service generation.” This session will draw on quantitative and spatial aspects and what they have in common, which is a prerequisite for defining constructive ways of bringing ecosystem services into everyday economic and urban planning decisions.

Gren has a PhD in Natural Resources Management from the Department of Systems Ecology and Natural Resources Management at Stockholm University (2002). She was supervised by Carl Folke, Robert Costanza, and Gretchen Daily.

From 2002-2003, Gren was a course coordinator for the Master’s course “Sustainable enterprise” at the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University. From 2004-2007, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher under the supervision of Karl-Göran Mäler at the Beijer Institute within the IWAP project, which was funded by a FROMAS grant.

From 2007-2010, Gren became an assistant professor at the Center of Excellence funded by FORMAS and the Beijer Institute. From 2011-2014, Gren was funded via the EU-FP7, ACCESS and ERA-Net-DIVERSITAS URBES grant, and also became an urban theme leader at the SRC. In 2015, Gren received funding from ERA-Net DIVERSITAS URBES, continued to be an urban theme leader at the SRC. From 2016 onwards, Gren's work is primarily funded by the Beijer Institute, but also the C/O city project (VINNOVA), and she continues to be an urban theme leader at the SRC.

Gren continuously collaborates with public actors in Sweden, such as the Stockholm County Council, the Office of Regional Planning and the County administrative board of Stockholm. This type of collaboration has e.g. resulted in a publicly oriented report on the integration of ecosystem services in urban planning and design.

Awards and achievements:

  • Award from His Majesty the King Karl XVI Gustav’s 50-year fund for work on visualising the dependence of city inhabitants on the work of vast ecosystem areas (2003)
  • Invited as keynote speaker at Sustainability Day, Svenskt näringslivsmiljöchefer. Cirkus, Stockholm (2010)
  • Invited to seminar, “Beyond GDP – indicators for future policy-making”, Framtidskommissionen (Commission on the future of Sweden), chaired by Fredrik Reinfeldt (Prime Minister of Sweden). Presentation: Valuation of Ecosystem Services (2012)
  • Seminar in honour of Gretchen Daily, Volvo Environment Prize Laureate 2012. Reconnecting to the Biosphere through Ecosystem Services. Presentation by Åsa Gren: Urban ecosystem services for sustainable development - from local to global.
  • Invited keynote speaker at the Biodivercities conference. Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing Climate (2013)
  • Invited speaker to seminar on ecosystem services. Arranged by RUS, Länsstyrelserna, Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län and Skogsstyrelsen (2013)
  • Invited keynote speaker at WS on Urban systems in a global context, at The Royal School of Technology, Stockholm (2014)

Staff details


Publications by Gren, ÅsaJansson, Åsa