The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate. In the near future it is prospected that urban landscapes converted for approximately 2.7 billion more people will be built. This is equivalent to the size of South Africa. The ‘urban’, both our cities and its manifestations in new life styles and worldviews, is now a global factor pushing at and interacting with the biosphere at all scales. As necessary parts of biosphere stewardship, cities need to provide better governance of social-ecological systems both inside and outside their physical and administrative boundaries. Linkages -between cities, cities and their support systems, actors and sectors - are central both for new, emerging vulnerabilities and strategies for building resilience.
People in cities, as elsewhere, must deal with an uncertain future shaped by globalization, climate change and loss of biological diversity. ‘Dealing ‘with’ requires strategies, and one important aspect of these is to make use of or actively trying to harness the potential of green infrastructure for providing solutions to various problems and challenges. For this to really work, such nature based solutions must include multiple dimensions, including for example on institutional and spatial designs that support self-organizing, learning processes and equal opportunities to become involved, psychological processes towards broad based environmental learning, and alignment of the scales and dimensionality of problems and management solutions.
The research on urban social-ecological systems generate knowledge in relation to above challenges and draws on methods and theories from a wide span of fields in sustainability science that, among others, include systems and landscape ecology, sociology and institutional theory, environmental history, transformation theory, actor-network approaches. We also have close collaborations with many international partners, universities as well as non-academic, and we are actively engaged in international networks like Future Earth. In Sweden, we collaborate closely with the Urban Studio at the University of Gävle, Sweden.
The theoretical premises behind our research are based on studies of how to build resilience in multidimensional and seamlessly interlinked social-ecological systems. We aim to advance urban resilience science by improving understanding of how we can design urban systems with an ability to more proactively deal, across scales, with both known and uncertain future outcomes. Urban resilience building in this sense should be understood as the outcome of a process that includes a more proactive anticipation, experimentation, learning, and adaptation to changing circumstances and novel events.
Research news | 2019-06-03
Rotterdam and New York are global pioneers in urban climate adaption, but mainstreaming their sustainability strategies remains a struggle
Research news | 2019-05-22
Purchasing property in the city close to green space can be more than just visually fruitful. New study finds links between urban green spaces, their multi-functions, and property values
Research news | 2019-05-13
Balancing urban development and residents’ experience of their city is a difficult act. New study presents method for understanding how city dwellers use their cityscape
Research news | 2019-04-17
Recognised for their outstanding contributions to ecology
Research news | 2019-04-09
Researchers present a new framework to resolve this question
Research news | 2019-03-28
A sense of place can be a powerful tool when it comes to environmental stewardship. A case study in Bangalore, India explores how local lake groups have helped to restore and protect urban lakes
2019 - Journal / article
Nature-based solutions offer an exciting prospect for resilience building and advancing urban planning to address complex urban challenges simultaneously. In this article, we formulated through a coproduction process in workshops held during the first IPCC Cities and Climate Science Conference in Edmonton, Canada, in March 2018, a series of synthesis statements on the role, potential, and research gaps of nature-based solution...
2019 - Journal / article
Climate change actions in cities worldwide are driving deep changes in urban governance. We ask whether new capacities for transformative climate governance are emerging in two cities that have experimented with urban climate governance: Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and New York City (NYC), United States. Transformative climate governance creates the conditions for developing integrated and innovative climate mitigation and ada...
2019 - Journal / article
An unresolved issue in creating resilient cities is how to obtain sustainability benefits from densification while not eroding the capacity of social-ecological systems to generate wellbeing for urban dwellers. To understand how different relationships between urban form and wellbeing together play out, we analysed geocoded experiential data (1460 experiences from 780 respondents) together with variables of the physical enviro...
2019 - Report
We have entered the urban century and addressing a broad suite of sustainability challenges in urban areas is increasingly key for our chances to transform the entire planet towards sustainability. For example, cities are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, 90% of urban areas are situated on coastlines, making the majority of the world’s population increasingly vulnerable to climate ch...
The project explores how urban planning and design in the Central Baltic region can generate more resilient, sustainable urban areas. Of particular interest is Extended Reality (XR) technologies, which includes Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (VR, AR, and MR, respectively). Read more here