About Critical Urbanities

Last changed: 30 April 2020

Climate change and globalising economies are global challenges that have an impact on the spatial organisation of urban sites on the local level. Educating young landscape architects and urban designers from the Global North and the Global South together means to address both the global dimension of designing urban water landscapes, and local differences. This trans-disciplinary university collaboration combines the academic and professional fields of landscape architecture and urban design in order to devise a networked research-by-design methodology while including young professionals and researchers in topical urban development projects in Sweden/ Europe and Argentina/ Latin America.

The overarching aim of this exchange project is to contribute to the advancement of critical knowledge for fragile urban water landscapes, and to help finding methods for improving socio-spatially fragmented urban areas characterised by changing water regimes.

To this end the project partners engage to build up an academic relationship between SLU Landscape and FADU-UBA Urban Design based on student and teacher exchange. Internationally relevant research-based teaching relies on strong teacher teams at both universities and linking them to broader academic networks. Students are trained in critical thinking about global processes and their local implications, especially with regards to the differences between European and Latin American urban development practice and theory.

The aim of this exchange project is

  • to allow both students and staff to learn from each other across the disciplines of landscape architecture (SLU Landscape) and urbanism (FADU-UBA Urban Design) and to develop the agency to tackle global challenges in trans-disciplinary ways through teaching and research about the design of climate change affected water landscapes, adaptable open urban spaces and urban development.
  • to enable students to study analytically and synthetically the interrelatedness of natural processes and people’s practices in urbanising water landscapes, and to increase their interest in preparing a career in urban sustainability projects for a globalising world.
  • FADU-UBA Urban Design has experience in upgrading of marginalised settlements in fragmented urban areas (in the Rio de la Plata urban delta), SLU Landscape in transforming formerly industrialised cities in fragile water landscapes (in Malmö and other European urban areas). Together they aim at widening their spectrum of action-oriented trans-disciplinary knowledge and methodology to nurture teaching and research at both universities.


Lisa Diedrich, Professor

The Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, SLU

lisa.diedrich@slu.se, +46 40-41 54 24