Centre researchers awarded for groundbreaking paper on urban sustainability

Resilience and sustainability in cities were at the core of the framework that is now praised. Photo: CHUTTERSNAP via Unsplash.

Centre researchers Thomas Elmqvist, Erik Andersson, Timon McPhearson, Per Olsson, Owen Gaffney and Carl Folke are selected as recipients of the Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award 2023

The award is tied to a paper written by the above together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Japan: “Sustainability and resilience for transformation in the urban century”, which was published in Nature Sustainability in 2019. In the paper, the authors looked at how urban sustainability and urban resilience are related and can be connected.

The authors dissect how resilience, sustainability, and transformation can conflict and align.

Jury of the Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award

"It feels like there is now globally a firm recognition and acceptance of the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s view on theory and concepts. This award should, therefore, be shared by many of the scientists at the centre who have intellectually contributed over the years. It is indeed a result of a collective effort," says Thomas Elmqvist, lead author of the paper.

The jury praised that the article has already impacted sustainability and gained broad citation across diverse academic disciplines, from urban planning and engineering to health and life sciences.

“Thomas Elmqvist and his interdisciplinary, globally distributed team develop a unified framework of urban sustainability. The authors dissect how resilience, sustainability, and transformation – often said in the same breath – can conflict and align. By acknowledging the tensions and contradictions between resilience and sustainability goals, the framework supports practice and policies toward transforming urban areas to be more resilient and sustainable,” writes the jury in their motivation.

Thomas Elmqvist and the other recipients of the prize are invited to join the Ecological Society of America at their annual meeting in Portland, Oregon.

The Ecological Society of America is a nonprofit organization of scientists. Its mission is to advance the science and practice of ecology and to support ecologists throughout their careers. The organization also recognizes achievements in ecological science through a number of awards.

Read a popular science summary of the award-winning article here.

Topics: Awards
Published: 2023-04-12

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