The four disciplines at the Department of Urban and Rural Development Landscape Architecture, Rural Development, Environmental Communication and Agrarian History are joined in the research school Society and Landscape, running 2017-2021. All PhD students at the department are automatically enrolled as members of the research school, which main aim is to support their work.
The research school is based on two profiles; social science and design science, and is directed especially to PhD students engaged in design, policy, environmental and natural resource management, planning, agrarian change and related issues. The four disciplines at the department work with similar questions, methods and theories in many parts of the world, which open up for comparative perspectives, both in research and education.
The activities of the research school are formed by courses, seminars, workshops and student driven initiatives. All activities are open for PhD students not only at SLU, but also at other universities nationally and internationally.
A basic objective of the research school is to provide stability and structure to PhD education at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, and to strengthen the research that exists within and between the different disciplines: rural development, landscape architecture and environmental communication and agrarian history.
The research school principal objective is thus to support PhD-students working in the subjects of rural development, landscape architecture, environmental communication and agrarian history. An important task of the research school is also to create an arena based on the humanities and social science perspectives to work with interdisciplinary issues that are central to SLU, with a particular focus on the challenges associated with environmental resource governance and landscape planning.
It is a particular concern of the research school to offer support to PhD-students working in a wide area with elements including issues related to environmental design, policy, land use, natural resource management, planning and agrarian change. Cooperation within the cluster of landscape and society is a cornerstone of the research school. Among the important research education areas to develop, include subject-specific theories and methods in the fields of agrarian history, landscape architecture, rural development and envrionmental communication.
Another important field is the social aspects of sustainable development, governance mechanisms and effects of policies affecting land use, social and cultural organization, natural resource management, and issues concerning the relationship between urban and rural environments. On the basis that the four subjects included in the research school, are working on similar issues, methods and theories in many different parts of the world, opens good opportunities for comparative approaches, both in research and in education.