I am a researcher specialized in participatory and deliberative planning and decision-making. Throughout my career, I have studied the use of participation and deliberation for solving spatial, social and environmental problems including urban renewal, public space development, sustainable lifestyles, ecosystem services, community development. This has been done in different countries including Colombia, Spain, Sweden, England and the Netherlands.
I am currently involved in two research projects:
A Balancing Act between Swift and Slow Planning investigating how practitioners balance, on the one hand, the need for efficiency in decision-making, and the other hand, calls for more democratic/participatory processes that are time-consuming. Focus in on urgent sustainability challenges such as climate change impacts, shortage of affordable homes or influx of immigrants.
Dialogues in governance for sustainability focusing on the design of power-sensitive and conflict-aware deliberative processes.
I am the Study Director for the Environmental Communication and Management programme at SLU. I am course coordinator for the courses Introduction to environmental communication , and Conflict, democracy and facilitation.
I teach at the Environmental Communication and Management and the Landscape Architecture programmes. I am also supervisor of master thesis and PhD students
I give lectures focusing among other on participatory and deliberative planning; communicative planning theory; differences, conflicts and power relations in collaborative decision-making; participatory planning in the global South; research methods and case study methodology; the political economy of urban development; integrated approaches to planning and design; upgrading of informal settlements; renewal of deprived neighbourhoods; tactical/DIY/guerrilla urbanism; and urban development in cities of the global south (particularly Latin America).
I have also been invited to give lectures, be opponent and co-organize courses in universities including Uppsala University, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the University of Milano-Bicocca, the National Agrarian University (UNA) and the Pontificia Bolivariana University (UPB).
I have an interdisciplinary background in architecture, urban design, urban planning, landscape planning and environmental governance.
My doctoral research aimed at making a theoretical contribution to the fields of landscape architecture and urban design by focusing on the challenges of participation in planning and urban design. The research gave especial emphasis on the understanding of differences, conflicts and power relations within participatory processes and the influences of these in the development of public spaces within cities. My PhD thesis “Politicising Participation: Towards a new theoretical approach to participation in the planning and design of public space” was awarded with the 2013 European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools –ECLAS- Outstanding Student Award (3rd Cycle - PhD).
I have also engaged in action research regarding collaborative approaches to planning. As a result of this I wrote together with colleagues at Uppsala University the "The Inquiry Based Approach - IBA: a facilitator’s handbook" for guiding collaborative practices. The approach has been implemented in 17 cities in Africa, South East Asia, and Europe.
Previous academic experience includes researcher and lecturer at the Division of Landscape Architecture, researcher at Uppsala University in the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development – SWEDESD and teacher at the Master’s programme Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at KTH.
I am co-supervisor to the following PhD students:
Josephine Norrbo: "Universally individual: An exploration of culture, landscape architecture and the idea of perfection beyond mankind" (ongoing)
Paola Ledo Espinoza: "A southern perspective: Northern and indigenous influences on the establishment of a hybrid culture of participatory planning, the story of Sacaba" (Completed 2021)
Said Nuhu: "Rethinking land access governance in Global South Cities: Understanding the dynamics and contentions of land access processes and governance mechanisms in peri-urban areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania" (Completed 2021)
Martin Westin: "Rethinking power in participatory planning: towards reflective practice" (Completed 2019)
Joosse, S., Powell, S., Bergeå, H., Boehm, S., Calderon, C., Caselunghe, E., Fischer, A., Grubbström, A., Hallgren, L., Holmgren, S., Löf, A., Nordström Källström, H., Raitio, K., Senecah, S., Söderlund Kanarp, C., von Essen, E., Westberg, L., Westin, M. (2020). Critical, engaged and change-oriented scholarship in environmental communication. Six methodological dilemmas to think with. Environmental Communication.
Calderon, C. (2019). Unearthing the political: differences, conflicts and power in participatory urban design. Journal of Urban Design
Calderon, C., & Westin, M. (2019). Understanding context and its influence on collaborative planning processes: A contribution to communicative planning theory. International Planning Studies.
Calderon, C. and A. Butler (2019). Politicising the landscape: a theoretical contribution towards the development of participation in landscape planning. Landscape Research
Calderon, C. & Chelleri, L. (2013) Social processes in the production of public spaces: structuring forces and actors in the renewal of a deprived neighbourhood in Barcelona, Journal of Urban Design. 18, 409-428.
Books, book chapters
Calderon, C. and J. Hernandez-Garcia (2019). Bottom-up public space design and social cohesion: The case of a self-developed park in an informal settlement of Bogotá. Public Space Design and Social Cohesion: an International Comparison. P. Aelbrecht and Q. Stevens, Routledge.
Westin, M., Calderon, C. & Hellquist, A. (2016) Att leda samverkan: En handbok för dig som vill hantera komplexa samhällsutmaningar. Visby, SWEDESD - Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development.
Westin, M., Calderon, C. & Hellquist, A. (2014) The Inquiry Based Approach IBA: a facilitator’s handbook. Visby, SWEDESD - Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development.
Calderon, C. (2013) Politicising Participation: towards a new theoretical approach to participation in the planning and design of public space. PhD Dissertation. Uppsala:SLU
Calderon, C. (2012) Social Urbanism: participatory urban upgrading in Medellin, Colombia, in Lawrence, Yildiz & Kellett (eds.) Requalifying the built environment: challenges and responses. Göttingen: Hogrefe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88937-430-0
Publications in Conference proceedings
Calderon, C. & Butler, A. (2016) ‘Towards the development of landscape democracy: a theoretical contribution’, in Uniscape. Landscape values place and praxis (Galway, Ireland June 29th – July 2nd, 2016)
Calderon, C. & Westin,M. (2016) ‘Understanding how context influences collaborative approaches to landscape governance: an analytical framework’, in Uniscape. Landscape values place and praxis (Galway, Ireland June 29th – July 2nd, 2016)
Calderon, C. (2011) ‘En ny form för offentliga rum som börjar i det tillfälliga’ [New Approaches to the Production of Public Spaces]. Arkitektur 01,2011, Stockholm