SLU Urban Futures 2020

Senast ändrad: 10 februari 2022

SLU Urban Futures in 2020

Offering an entryway to SLU's urban palette of knowledge and networks, linking disciplines and sectors and addressing global challenges with an urban landscape perspective:

  • An essential result from the platform period 2017-2020 is Urbanscapes, a complementary web page that functions as an attractive gate to SLU Urban Furtures and SLU, making urban focused work easily accessible to and inclusive for plural audiences. Urbanscapes collects material from ‘across’ (often) isolated content fields, reflecting the inter- and transdisciplinary ambitions of the research platform, and revealing the extent of ongoing Urban work at a university not previously associated with this type of research and education. With more ‘freedom’ to present the Urban palette of SLU this new SLU Urban Futures communication initiative, invites for new engagements, provides a more living platform for sharing knowledge, and increases the visibility of SLU as relevant partner/actor in urban development and transformation.

To build and support transdisciplinary and urban transformative capacities UF offers different method labs:

  • The Criticality Lab mobilizes discursive formats in education and through events to strengthen SLU’s urban research and to profile SLU as a partner in tackling the challenges of the urbanizing planet. As new scientific work modes need critical minds, the Criticality Lab offered its third course in Criticality for PhD students, funded by FUN. Due to the pandemic, this course was revised for digital delivery, virtually hosted by TU DELFT, and resulted in open discussion around developing new joint Criticality education offerings, which is considered a successful step towards establishing SLU as part of a European-wide platform for critical urban PhD education.
  • The Synthesis Lab operates as a hub for methodological experiments in synthesis-driven knowledge generation. In 2020 the Synthesis Lab focused on documenting and synthesizing outcomes from its inter- and transdisciplinary collaborative research projects; the SLU Landscape “Living Lab” research project and the Strategic Synthesis project. The former studied SLU Landscape as an experiment, or ‘living lab’, to showcase and mobilize the potential of the Landscape field at SLU. The latter engaged with the process, value and tools of doing synthesis (differently) and identifying its significance in and for transdisciplinary work modes and habits of mind.
  • The Futures Lab is a forum for interdisciplinary explorations of future research questions and societal challenges. The Futures Lab was realized as a 12-month long project in collaboration by SLU Urban Futures and SLU Future Food with the dual aim of
    • a) strengthening the capacity of the participants to work with a futures focus in research, education and collaboration;
    • b) explore how the future platforms could support multi- and interdisciplinary ways of working with a futures focus.
    • Next to initial seminars, several new collaborations in research and teaching, diverse publications and three researchers’ projects evolved:
      • 1) shrinking cities and green infrastructure in urban areas
      • 2) urban green represented in science fiction
      • 3) young framers view on agriculture and food production in the future

Established collaboration with SLU Global to further the internationalization of SLU Urban Future’s activities and critically assess and debate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • The focus on processes of urbanization in low and middle-income countries forwards SLU Urban Future’s thematic focus on urban-rural and urban-hinterland dependencies and interactions. The collaboration responses to underrepresentation of the global south in questions of urban sustainability. This collaboration led to a scoping study of urban research connected to low and middle income countries (Report), launched a seminar series at end of 2020 to start continues collaboration in 2021, and supports the library services in adding to SDG 11 related publications. Within the thematic focus of projects relating to urban sustainability in the global south and a particular link to the SDG 11, the scoping study identified three interdisciplinary fields, where SLU has particular capacities to contributes; these are:
    • Urban Food Security
    • Participatory urban planning and public services
    • Climate resilience and energy

SLU received national and international visibility on stages of urban discourse and transformations:

  • By SLU Urban Futures being represented at the world’s largest conference for sustainable urban development - the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, which strengthened SLU’s position on the urban agenda and needed attention towards urbanization processes in and collaboration with the Global South.
  • By SLU Urban Futures initiating and strengthening collaboration with research networks; such as at the JPI Urban Europe network, mainly based on the collaborative work within one of UF’s method labs on strategic synthesis.

SLU Urban Futures started a publication series with an international reach and a wide readership from plural disciplines and sectors beyond academy:

  • The new format Urban Readings, started in response to cancellations of face-to-face events due to Covid19. The latter became a successful digital format that invites international scholars to write about contemporary issues within urban development and transformation. 10 articles got published in 2020.

SLU Urban Futures Hubs strengthened regional embeddedness and cross-faculty linkages:

  • SLU Urban Futures established a campus-specific structure with campus hubs in Ultuna, Umeå and Alnarp that anchor the platform in the regions and at the different campuses. They serve as access points, internally, by establishing cross-faculty linkages, and externally, supporting trust and relationship building processes for collaborations. Activities and forums initiated through the hubs communicate, disseminate and co-produce knowledge, which strengthens SLU’s role as a relevant partner in sustainable urbanization & transformation. The hubs offer SLU Urban Future’s methodological expertise, network connections and knowledge capacities.

Download the statistics (pdf, in Swedish)


The platform consists of a six-person core team and an extended team counting another five people, for 11, total. It operates through hubs at its three campuses, Alnarp, Ultuna and Umeå. Most team-members work part-time; several are co-financed in collaborative projects at SLU.

The SLU Urban Futures (UF) team represents a core team (6 people) and an extended team (5 people) with so-called UF affiliates. Most team members works part-time, some are co-financed in collaborative projects and sum-up to 3-4 full-time positions. The UF team engaged in extending its communication and administration capacity by establishing a new organizational structure through hubs at Uppsala, Umeå  and Alnarp campus.

This new hub structure supports building up a network of ‘urban-minded’ colleagues across SLU as sketched out in the UF reports since 2018. This evolving network is growing and diversifying across faculties within SLU. This network comprises:

  • UF Affiliates, working on inter- and transdisciplinary urban projects with salary contribution by UF, constituting the leadership of a series of Collaborative Projects and Labs on subjects that start bringing forward main SLU-specific urban research areas
  • UF hubs at three campuses in Alnarp, Uppsala and Umeå thus help and are integral part of this extended network and integrative/inclusive structure of UF


Role: Platform-

Lisa Diedrich 


Nina Vogel

Acting Director / Hub-coordinator Alnarp

Hanna Weiber-Post

Communicator officer

Camilla Zakrisson Juhlin

Communicator officer

Jeanette Donner


Tove Stenius


Marcus Hedblom

Affiliate/ Hub-coordinator Ultuna

Affiliate/ Uppsala Collab WP contact

Andrew Gallagher

Affiliate/ Assistant

Affiliate/ SLU Global collaboration

Tim Hofmeester

Affiliate/ Hub-coordinator Umeå

Affiliate/ Urban Wild project

Andrea Kahn

Affiliate/ Synthesis Lab coordinator

Josefin  Wangel

Affiliate/ Futures Lab coordinator

Steering group members 2020


  • Håkan Schröder, dean LTV faculty


  • Gunilla Lindholm, LTV faculty
  • Ann Dolling, S faculty
  • Sofia Boqvist, VH faculty
  • Pär Forslund, NJ faculty


  • Kristina Santén, director SoU


  • SLU Urban Futures has an endowment of 5M SEK per year.
  • A principal distribution of the funds is split between salaries including OH and local costs, running costs, and targeted costs.


Shared publications by all Future Platforms - as response to the Corona crisis:

Bergquist; Daniel (2020): Food and Cities: An Emerging Field of Cross-Disciplinary Activity at SLU. Report (internal use) on the collaborative project Food & City by SLU Urban Futures and SLU Future Food.

Vogel, N. et al. (2019): Hållbar områdesutveckling i Malmö - Från experiment till ny praxis? Rapport based on collaboration in Mistra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform Skåne.

Kahn, Andrea (2020): SLU Landscape “Living Lab” research project report. Report.

Kahn, Andrea (2020): The Strategic Synthesis State of Play - A process-knowledge capture document, collecting and collating ongoing work and working processes. Collection. 

Reported projects

Barnens röster om staden som livs- och utvecklingsmiljö för dem själva – Petter Åkerblom, LTV

Phytoremediation as a transformative tool – Caroline Dahl, LTV

Pilot of "Building interdisciplinary narratives for change - visual storytelling in Rosendal" module - Wouter Blankestijn, NJ

Utveckling av kurs på avancerad nivå om landskapets förvaltning och styrning - Helena Mellqvist, LTV

Skogen som försvann – Betydelsen av stadsskogar för människors välmående och biodiversitet - Marcus Hedblom, NJ

Improving the Training of Future Designers: A Cross-Disciplinary Observation of Teaching Experiences in Design Studio Courses - Andrea Conti, LTV

Citizens’ Science Project on Bat Monitoring For Mapping Green Infrastructure of Conservational Value in Urban Areas - Petter Axelsson, S

Desegregating Landscapes: Research Development Consortium Meeting- Burcu Yigit Turan, LTV

Food Waste and Loss and the Sustainability of Urban Food Systems in Developing Countries: Evidence from Addis Ababa - Assem Abouhatab, NJ

Idrott och aktivitet i stadsutvecklingen - Fredrik Jergmo, LTV

Urban Futures in a changing climate: Building a platform for young people's participation- Frederik Aagaard Hagemann, LTV

Cirkulär energi- och livsmedelsproduktion i Ultuna för hållbar campusutveckling - Daniel Bergquist, LTV

 Wildlife in the city / Vilt i Stan - Tim Hofmeester, S

Translocation of wild bees Uppsala - Barbara Locke Grander, NJ

PhD Forum - Amalia Engström, LTV

Exploring tradeoffs between on-the-ground and on-the-roof urban green infrastructure - Tobias Emilsson and Ishi Buffam, LTV

Urban Transitions and Transformations WS- Caroline Dahl, LTV

The Smart City concept and future research - Johanna Deak Sjöman, LTV

Food and the city. Understanding urban foodscapes for planning, design and governance of cities. - Ingrid Sarlöv Herlin, LTV

Landscape Laboratory Alnarp 2.0 - towards a Landscape Lab Office - Tobias Emilsson, LTV

Vibrant living : Assessing the human well-being and livelihood co-benefits of inclusive green space - Christopher Raymond, LTV

The modern wastewater treatment plant as a hub for recycling plant nutrients - Malin Hultberg, LTV

Densification of cities and their effects on people’s use of nature; … - Marcus Hedblom, S

Powerful Pictures - Epistemological significance of visual material - Gunilla Lindholm, LTV

Building Sustainable Cities and Green Lifestyles - Sofie Joosse, NJ

Book development workshop - Christopher Raymond, LTV

Strengthening international cooperation between EU and CELAC countries - Thomas Randrup and Åsa O. Sang, LTV

Scape magazine dossier tools and techniques - Andrea Kahn, LTV


Education/ Courses/ Seminars

  • Futures with multiple targets: scenarios beyond GDP growth” – the Future Lab's open lunch lecture on future studies and research given by Ulrika Gunnarsson-Östling, KTH, 29 January 2020
  • Four Futures for the Swedish Energy System”- the Future Lab's open lunch lecture on future studies and research given by Tobias Walla from the Swedish Energy Agency, 26 February 2020
  • Criticality in Research/Criticality as Praxis, online/co-hosted with TU DELFT, October 2020
  • Launch seminar of seminar series within continued SLU Global collaboration (2021): Urban Sustainability in the Global South, 15 December 2020


SLU Urban Futures meets Michel Desvigne 

SLU Landscape meets Suzanne Mathew, samproduktion med SLU Landskap 

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