Photo: U.Grünbaum/Azote

Photo: M. Edström/Azote

Urban social-ecological systems

This theme looks at linkages between ecosystem services, biodiversity, societies and humankind in an urban context

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. Such urbanization, coupled with increasing inequalities, changing migration patterns, shifting diets and a growing urban middle class pose increasing demand for resources generated by the biosphere. People in cities, as elsewhere, must deal with an uncertain future due to globalization, climate change and loss of biological diversity. As part of biosphere stewardship, cities need to provide better governance of social-ecological systems both inside and outside their borders, paving new and resilient ways for reconnecting urban dwellers with the biosphere. Such reconnections should, among other things, draw on institutional and spatial designs that support self-organizing, psychological processes towards broad based environmental learning, human wellbeing, and the fostering of wiser governance of social-ecological diversity and equity.

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 ecology, sociology and institutional theory, environmental history, anthropology, ecological economics, spatial theory, environmental psychology and historical ecology. We also collaborate closely with the Urban Studio at the the University of Gävle, Sweden.

The theoretical premises behind our research are based on studies of how to build resilience in linked 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 with both known and uncertain future outcomes. Urban resilience building in this sense should be understood as the outcome of a recursive process that includes a more proactive anticipation, learning, and adaptation to changing circumstances and novel events.

Theme contacts




Live Baltic Campus

Live Baltic Campus aims at developing campuses as innovation hubs by creating better urban environment for businesses and residents. The idea is to support participative urban planning which is adopted by the cities involved as part of their normal work. Read more here

Augmented Urbans

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

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201