Marie Larsson

Marie Larsson
Marie Larsson


• Senior lecturer in Landscape Architecture, with the emphasis on collaboration planning and urban garden cultivation/Universitetslektor med inriktning mot samverkansplanering och urbant trädgårdsbruk, 2013
• Agr Dr in Landscape Planning, 2009
• Master of Science in Landscape Architecture/Landskapsarkitektexamen, LAR/MSA, 1991










Course coordinator of the Master Project in Landscape Architecture, 30 credits.
Course coordinator and examiner of the course Urban Agriculture and Social Interactions, 15 credits.

Other than the above I´m engaged in a broad spectrum of courses, tasks and assignments. For example I give lectures, hold literature seminars and other seminars, am part of the “critique panel” at project presentations, am supervisor and examiner. I teach in a majority of the programmes offered at the Faculty of LTV; the Landscape Architect Programme, the Landscape Architect Master´s Programme, the Landscape Engineer Programme, the Garden Engineer Programme, the Sustainable Urban Development Master´s Programme and the Outdoor Environments for Health and Wellbeing Master´s Programme.


I have a special interest in supervision and the role of the supervisor. I find it very interesting, challenging and rewarding to supervise. My pedagogic ambition is to awake the students curiousity and inner driving force as well as a belief in their capacity, to make the master project an independent work.



Principal supervisor for Master´s dissertations, SLU Alnarp: 13 students 2009-2016

Assistant supervisor for Master´s dissertations, SLU Alnarp: 5 students 2013-2016

Principal supervisor for Bachelor´s essays, SLU Alnarp: 32 students 2009-2016



The main focus of my thesis Stadsdelsträdgård: Plats för gemenskap och kreativa processer/ Public Garden: A Place for Community and Creative Processes draws attention to an aspect of society that is of profound importance to the achievement of sustainable development, namely the relation between governing forces (top-down policies) and local practice (bottom-up initiatives). Informal groups constitute an important, but often overlooked, resource when working to change society towards sustainable development.


In the research project I studied and analysed the significance of local gardening initiatives, where citizens jointly design and use public space in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. Particular focus was placed on the driving forces within the gardening initiative and the underlying processes identified in the contact between citizens and the local authorities. The aim is to contribute to an increased understanding of self-organised gardens for community and cultivation as a social phenomenon. The method was explorative with a qualitative approach. Case studies were carried out in three municipalities. Each case was subjected to in-depth interviews, participatory observations and narrative analysis.


The concept stadsdelsträdgård (a community garden in a Swedish urban context) was introduced in my thesis, in which the meaning of the concepts self-organisation and landscape, i.e. the social process and the place-making process, are brought together. In the garden the users are self-organised in relation to the local authority, attaining a common right of usage where it is the users who make the decisions concerning the use and cultivation of the garden. In this self-organised, local practice a sense of community may develop.


By cultivating organically the users develop knowledge of ecological cycles and the condition of the ecosystem. Through daily cultivation practices this knowledge becomes incorporated in the shaping of the garden through a process of interplay between the people and the physical landscape. Ideally, this creative place-making process creates a fertile ground for the trying out of new patterns of action for sustainable development. When citizens create gardens jointly the outcome are gardens with a personal touch and a feeling of homeliness, which distinguish them from the public park. In the self-organised garden you get a combination of being in public space and feeling at home.


The stadsdelsträdgård is a resource in the town district, providing an opportunity for meetings between people of different backgrounds and generations and between various individuals and groups in society. The garden is not the goal in itself, but rather it works as a means of creating involvement, social solidarity and an active local community. A common practice is developed through people’s acting together in a place, and may lead to new, more sustainable ways of acting.


The thesis contributes knowledge concerning what a socially and ecologically sustainable public garden may look like in relation to tangible, lived life in the city. The stadsdelsträdgård is a way of working with sustainability in practice. The potential to develop new patterns of acting towards sustainable development lies in the combination of self-organisation and the use of the physical landscape. The interplay between community and the physical landscape needs to be recognized, the thesis argues, as a potentially important dimension of the planning process.


Link to the doctoral thesis in Epsilon: 


I was from April 2010 – April 2013 involved part time in the research project Öreferie, an EU-Interreg financed project, on sustainable tourism in the region of Öresund.


Research grants:

The research project Trädgård och odling i det offentliga rummet, funded by Formas, financed my doctoral studies 100 % during two plus two years.

2003-01-01 – 2004-12-31         1 344 000,00 SEK

2006-01-01 – 2008-12-31         1 050 000,00 SEK


Administrative assignments


Head of Studies/Grundutbildningsansvarig, 2009 – 2011, at the Department of Landscape Architecture, SLU.


Membership of boards and committees within the university of SLU:

SLU´s Board of Education. Deputy member/suppleant, 2016-04-01 – ongoing.


LTV´s Teacher Appointment Board/Lärarförslagsnämnden. Deputy member/suppleant, 2010-04-01 – ongoing.


Board of Landscape Programmes/Programutskott Landskap (PUL). Member/ledamot 2009-08-01 – 2012-03-31.


Dialogue/Dialog Ultuna Alnarp (DUAL). Member/ledamot 2009-08-01 – 2012-02-29.


Leading Group/Ledningsgruppen, Department of Landscape Architecture. Member/ledamot 2009-09-01 – 2011-12-31.


Editorial committee/Redaktionsråd Stad & Land publication series. Member/ledamot 1990 – 2004.


Alnarp Park Advisory Group. Member/ledamot 1990 – 2004.



Principal supervisor for Master´s dissertations, SLU Alnarp: 13 students 2009-2016

Assistant supervisor for Master´s dissertations, SLU Alnarp: 5 students 2013-2016

Principal supervisor for Bachelor´s essays, SLU Alnarp: 32 students 2009-2016

Publikationer i urval

Peer-reviewed original articles:

Larsson, M. (2006). Community Gardening and Sustainability – Citizen-initiated Gardens in Public Space. In: Science for Sustainable Development – Starting Points and Critical Reflections. Frostell, B, ed. Conference Proceedings. VHU, Uppsala.


Peer-reviewed conference contributions:

Larsson, Marie (2006). Citizen-initiated Gardens in Public Space – Fertile Ground for Developing New Ways of Acting Towards Sustainable Development. Paper presented at IAPS International Conference “Environment, Health and Sustainable Development”, Alexandria, Egypt.                      


Larsson, Marie (2005). Citizens Create Gardens as Meeting Places in Public Space. In Life in the Urban Landscape. Conference Proceedings from Life in the Urban Landscape/FORMAS International Conference “Integrating Urban Knowledge and Practice”, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Larsson, Marie (2002). Trädgård och odling i det offentliga rummet. Paper presented at NSBB Nordic Conference ”Urban- och boendeforskning”, Helsinki, Finland.



Larsson, Marie (2009). Stadsdelsträdgård. Plats för gemenskap och kreativa processer. Dissertation. Department of Landscape Architecture, SLU Alnarp.


Universitetslektor vid Institutionen för landskapsarkitektur, planering och förvaltning
Telefon: +4640415401
Box 190
234 22 Lomma
Besöksadress: Slottsvägen 5, Alnarp, Alnarp