Photo: M. Barthel/Azote
Urban social-ecological systems

This theme focuses on the resilience of urban systems and specifically how cities function as part of social-ecological systems

The continuous increase in the number and size of urban regions and transformation of landscapes pose challenges to ensure human welfare and a livable, sustainable environment. Urban regions create great demands for resources such as fresh water and generate large volumes of waste, but are at the same time hubs of services, knowledge, capital and innovation that offer solutions for humans and the environment.

The Urban Theme has build an extensive network of research groups in cities in Europe and around the world and lead a number of interdisciplinary project, such as the SUPER project -Sustainable Urban Planning for Ecosystem services and Resilience, Green wedges as urban commons, Urb-SENA: Multi-site analysis of urban social-ecological dynamics using social network analysis. Within the theme, new tools for visualization are under development, including Urban Planet and Urban Atlas.

The Urban theme is also involved in several global collaborations such as URBIS (Urban Biosphere Network together with IUCN and UNESCO), TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) and the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity where the centre contributes with development of methodology and analyses of urban ecosystem services.

Click here to see all theme-related publications

Urban news
Research news | 2014-02-21
300 international case studies prove investing in ecosystem restoration pays off
Research news | 2014-02-05
Clear message from Side event to the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Research news | 2013-12-19
Changing diets and growing urban areas lead to greater reliance on risky food imports
Research news | 2013-11-28
How civic initiatives help restore degraded lakes in Bangalore
Research news | 2013-11-04
How resilience thinking can be useful in urban planning
Research news | 2013-10-04
How biodiversity conservation can greatly improve sustainable development
Research news | 2013-10-04
Hollywood actor Edward Norton fronts stunning new video on urbanization and biodiversity
Research news | 2013-08-11
Urban green areas managed by citizens can reduce ecosystem management costs and help people reconnect to nature
Research news | 2013-07-22
Report in Swedish first to explain benefits of ecosystem services in urban development
Research news | 2013-06-25
New approach can make target on protecting crucial ecosystem services easier to assess

2010-12-01 | Sturle Hauge Simonsen

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Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B | Phone: +46 8 674 70 70 | E-mail: