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 | 2019-04-17
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
Research news | 2019-02-13
With a suite of benefits, participatory research has become increasingly popular. But there are many challenges too. Researchers examine the method and share their own experiences
Research news | 2019-02-01
Removal of vegetation and trees in cities can create areas with exceptionally high temperatures. Better use of satellite imagery can detect such areas quicker
Research news | 2019-01-30
When it comes to efforts to improve health and well-being of city-dwellers, same approach can have varying effects in different areas and with different groups of people
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...
2019 - Journal / article
Bottom-up approaches are often presented as a remedy to environmental governance problems caused by poorly aligned social institutions and fragmented ecosystems. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence demonstrating how such social–ecological fit might emerge and help achieve desirable outcomes. This paper combines quantitative social–ecological network analysis with interviews to investigate whether bottom-up approache...
2019 - Journal / article
We categorize Stockholm’s urban green spaces according to the use values and social meanings they support, based on a sociotope mapping, and estimate their impact on property prices with a hedonic pricing model. The approach allows us to identify the most and least desired green space characteristics (attributes) and to assess the willingness to pay for the multifunctionality of green spaces. To do this, we test the following...
2019 - Journal / article
With cities expanding globally and human populations becoming increasingly urban, sustaining ecosystems that support human well-being in cities is both increasingly challenging and urgent. City residents can take on important roles in the stewardship of public parks, trees, and waterbodies in their neighbourhoods, and sense of place is often brought forward as a motivation for engagement. In Bangalore, neighbourhood lake group...
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