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:
Awards and achievements:
Research news | 2020-06-05
Cities resemble ecosystems in a number of ways, and urban planning has much to gain from applying resilience thinking
Research news | 2020-04-21
In times of social distancing, green areas are more important than ever
Research news | 2020-03-16
In Warsaw, residents determined to avoid spatial chaos of the past mobilize to avoid environmental chaos in the future
Research news | 2019-11-06
As the social ecological system framework celebrates 20 years, researchers analyse its use in scientific publications. Despite increased popularity, a unifying definition is still missing
2020 - Journal / article
In the midst of the epoch of the Urban Anthropocene, citizen engagement is an important step on the path of creating local and global sustainability. However, the factors that motivate civic urban dwellers to become voluntary stewards of nature environments inside cities need research. This is an empirical study based on deep interviews and a grounded theory approach focused on the “inner world” of people in Warsaw, Poland, th...
2020 - Journal / article
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic caused countries across the world to implement measures of social distancing to curb spreading of COVID-19. The large and sudden disruptions to everyday life that result from this are likely to impact well-being, particularly among urban populations that live in dense settings with limited public space. In this paper, we argue that during these extraordinary circumstances, urban nature offers res...
2019 - Journal / article
It is often uncritically assumed that, when digital technologies are integrated into the operation of city functions, they inevitably contribute to sustainable urban development. Such a notion rests largely on the belief that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions pave the way for more democratic forms of planning, and that ‘smart’ technological devices result in a range of environmental benefits, e.g., energ...
2019 - Journal / article
This paper explores the 20-year evolution of the social-ecological systems framework (SESs). Although a first definition of SES dates back to 1988, Berkes and Folke more thoroughly used the concept in 1998 to analyze resilience in local resource management systems. Since then studies of interlinked human and natural systems have emerged as a field on its own right, promoting interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration in a wi...