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Research at the Department of Urban and Rural Development

In our research and teaching we focus on the societal aspects of natural resource management and land use. Our research and teaching are grounded in social sciences, humanities and landscape design principles, but is also characterised by interdisciplinary approaches in which natural sciences are important. At the department, we share common interests in development, planning and communication for a sustainable world. We work with issues concerning conditions in Sweden and the world. Here you will find links to information about the research that is being conducted.

Agrarian history

Agrarian history is a historical discipline that encompasses a development from ancient times to the present. The subject is about agricultural production and technological development, social and economic conditions, people in the rural society and their relation to nature, the landscape and to society at large.

Environmental Communication

In our research in Environmental communication we consider communication as the joint construction of meaning, and conduct primarily qualitative social science research concerned with themes such as legitimacy, participation, power, resistance, conflict and learning in decision making and transformation processes.

Landscape architecture

Landscape Architecture is the art of combining function, aesthetics and sustainability in the planning, design and management of the environment.

The subject covers a broad field, from regional and city spatial planning to the design of urban spaces and the individual elements which constitute them. This is addressed with the awareness of the mutual dependence and interactions between these different scales.

Rural development

Rural development is an interdisciplinary field of study based in the social sciences, in which we pay special attention to how ideas about development have material consequences in the specific contexts of the global north (Sweden and Europe) and global south. We nonetheless collaborate across our subjects to approach rural areas as dynamic material spaces made up of networks of relations that span between the rural and the urban, the Global North and South, paying attention to the particularities of the two contexts but also to the connections.

SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre

SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre's (CBM) research covers sustainable use of wild and cultivated biodiversity in different land use systems and includes historical and contemporary perspectives on biodiversity change. The results are intended to help politicians make decisions for long-term sustainable use and develop policies that strengthen biodiversity.

Research Schools

The department runs, in collaboration with Department of Economics, the research school People, Society and Sustainability

Political Science

Political Science research, mainly focusing on policy and governance issues related to various environmental and sustainability challenges. This includes, for example, research on the design and implementation of policies and instruments, new forms of governance and collaboration, the actors of social planning and their importance, as well as democratic participation and legitimacy.

Published: 15 February 2024 - Page editor: anni.hoffren@slu.se