Åsa, together with Johan Colding and Stephan Barthel, lead the urban theme at SRC. Within this context, Åsa’s 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.
Åsa 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, Åsa 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, Åsa became an assistant professor at the Center of Excellence funded by FORMAS and the Beijer Institute. From 2011-2014, Åsa 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, Åsa received funding from ERA-Net DIVERSITAS URBES, continued to be an urban theme leader at the SRC. From 2016 onwards, Åsa’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.
Åsa 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:
Research news | 2018-10-18
Popular concept for building sustainable cities stands on fragile scientific grounds
Research news | 2017-11-21
A new framework suggested to manage complex climate futures in the world’s most northern ocean
Research news | 2016-11-22
Centre researchers Johan Colding and Åsa Gren receive 1,5 million SEK from Stockholm County Council
Research news | 2016-06-21
Centre research featured in special issue on urban sustainability and resilience
2018 - Journal / article
Smart growth (SG) is widely adopted by planners and policy makers as an environmentally friendly way of building cities. In this paper, we analyze the environmental validity of the SG-approach based on a review of the scientific literature. We found a lack of proof of environmental gains, in combination with a great inconsistency in the measurements of different SG attributes. We found that a surprisingly limited number of st...
2017 - Journal / article
We propose a framework to support management that builds on a social–ecological system perspective on the Arctic Ocean. We illustrate the framework’s application for two policy-relevant scenarios of climate-driven change, picturing a shift in zooplankton composition and alternatively a crab invasion. We analyse archetypical system dynamics between the socio-economic, the natural, and the governance systems in these scenarios. ...
2014 - Journal / article
Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector and continues to expand alongside terrestrial crop and livestock production. Using portfolio theory as a conceptual framework, we explore how current interconnections between the aquaculture, crop, livestock, and fisheries sectors act as an impediment to, or an opportunity for, enhanced resilience in the global food system given increased resource scarcity and climate change. A...
2014 - Journal / article
Although a number of comprehensive reviews have examined global ecosystem services (ES), few have focused on studies that assess urban ecosystem services (UES). Given that more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, understanding the dualism of the provision of and need for UES is of critical importance. Which UES are the focus of research, and what types of urban land use are examined? Are models or decision s...