Strategic Synthesis Project

Last changed: 08 July 2021

This inter-institutional and transdisciplinary exchange targets harvesting knowledge on synthesis processes and methods relevant to urban topics considered at the European level. Initiated in 2018, it unfolds in partnership with IQ Samhällsbyggnad and Joint Programming Initiative JPI Urban Europe.

The Strategic Synthesis Project explores how “synthesis” – re-imagined beyond the conventional academic literature review – may be mobilized as a potential and powerful transdisciplinary format.  While popular in principle, transdisciplinarity faces many hurdles, in practice. Yet, transdisciplinarity is increasingly taken as a key approach to address the societal challenge of urban sustainable transformations and increased liveability. This approach involves heterogeneous knowledge practices ‘practicing together’. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly evident that formats and methods required to navigate, collate, distil and communicate (synthesize) knowledge outcomes generated through diverse knowledge practices remain sorely lacking.  This project aims to address that gap.

To see what the STRATEGIC SYNTHESIS project has achieved, and where it wants to go next, take a look at our STATE of PLAY 2020_09. Organized around key moments in the project’s ongoing development, this 'in process knowledge capture' outlines project motivations; outcomes to date (including “7 sample synthesis process tools); as well as emerging questions and a timeline/working-process model. 

STRATEGIC SYNTHESIS, an “open project”, has 2 core aims:

Make research useful: In today’s TMI (too much information) context, synthesis clarifies research relevance (what matters?) with a focus on audience (to whom does it matter?) 

Model a synthetic mind-set: Demonstrate ways to dynamically mobilize existing knowledge resources, using knowledge creation processes that involve criticality, and reflexivity-on-the-go.

If you are interested exploring how you might participate, contact

To learn more about the STRATEGIC SYNTHESIZER working group, check out the links, below:

Jonas Bylund  JPI Urban Europe; Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2.0

Lisa Diedrich  Critical Urbanities; SLU CV page

Andrea Kahn designCONTENTSynthesis Lab 

Joanne Leach  Profile Dr Joanne Leach; Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Henrietta Palmer  Mistra Urban Futures; Urban Futures Open Research School

Anna Sundman Theory into Practice; Mo-Bo Processkarta

Elisabeth Viktor Fit for climate change with Climate Excellence; About Pwc

Caroline Wrangsten  JPI Urban Europe; The Urban Lunch Talks WebinarsStrategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2.0


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