Mission and vision

Last changed: 16 August 2022
From Pixlapiren in Helsingborg.

SLU Urban Futures is one of four future platforms at SLU that aim to foster transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary ways of working as well as future-oriented teaching and research. The platform operates across all SLU faculties and stimulates collaboration with relevant societal actors.

The thematic focus of the Urban Futures platform includes spatial and socio-ecological sustainability perspectives on urban landscapes as habitat for diverse groups of humans as well as other-than-human actors, as well as urban-rural and urban-hinterland dependencies and interactions.

As a living, interactive interface between academia and society, SLU Urban Futures strives to:

  • ascertain where knowledge is needed through synthesis and analysis projects, and to generate academic support for societally relevant issues;

  • identify and develop new lines of research to support solving future problems through transdisciplinary collaboration with relevant societal partners;

  • develop interdisciplinary working methods by initiating and coordinating cooperation across academic disciplines.


To inspire and support SLU researchers and educators to initiate, develop and strengthen transdisciplinary research, education and collaboration within the field of sustainable urban development.


To make SLU more urban than ever before.


SLU Urban Futures supports transformative capacity building by:

  • Seeding long-term transdisciplinary relations and collaborations
  • Offering tools that support new practices
  • Stimulating change through powerful stories
  • Hosting forums for testing ideas and critical dialogue
  • Encouraging learning from experiments and failures

Sustainable urban development pertains to more than big cities, urban cores and densely built-up areas. Researchers today are re-imagining the 'urban' from multiple scientific, sociological and humanistic vantage points. They recognize that the interrelationship of built-up and not built-up territory is shaped by complex spatial and socio-ecological systems, impacted by urbanisation processes.

SLU’s urban Research Platform is anchored in the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science (LTV) where multiple landscape-related knowledge areas gather under the SLU Landscape label. Taking advantage of these resources, the platform explores urban questions from a landscape perspective, offering a spatial and socio-ecological approach to urban studies and transdisciplinary work modes to all of SLU.

Adopting a landscape perspective resonates with the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030 and forwards a relational, society-oriented understanding of urban issues that relies on the European Landscape Convention (ELC) definition of ‘landscape: ‘Landscape is part of the land, as perceived by local people or visitors, and which evolves through time as a result of being acted upon by natural forces and human beings.’ Linking the term landscape to society makes it a useful concept for reaching public audiences and policymakers.