Photo: M. Edstrom/Azote

Urban social-ecological systems

This theme focuses on urban social-ecological systems, where ecosystem services, biodiversity, societies and humankind are included in analyses of urban resilience and sustainability

The continuous increase in the number and size of urban regions across the world, and the simultaneous shrinking of cities in some regions, pose great challenges for sustainable development. Local challenges include for example loss of species and habitats, social degradation of neighborhoods, and an overall erosion of resilience.

Urbanization patterns and the lifestyles of urban dwellers also affect the planet on wider scales in time and space. They contribute to shape bio-physical processes on planetary scales, and affect how humans around the world mentally connect with the Biosphere. However, through their local to global linkages, cities can play a key role in the quest to continuously and increasingly support sustainable development. Our research aims to be part of creating a better understanding of the challenges that cities are facing, and importantly, to also be part of creating solutions.

Read and listen to interview with centre researcher Maria Schewenius discussing sustainable solutions and engaging those who are struggling for survival

Click here to see all theme-related projects and networks

Click here to see all theme-related publications

Urban news

Research news | 2015-12-04
Reducing resilience to a few measurements can block deeper understanding
Educational news | 2015-10-01
The course Urban Social-Ecological Systems runs each spring term and application deadline is 15 January
Research news | 2015-09-21
Website offers inhabitants  of Stockholm the chance to map their favourite and least favourite areas of the city
Research news | 2015-08-25
Changes in vegetation reveal deeper social differences in New Orleans
Research news | 2015-06-23
New Lancet commission on health and climate change presents opportunities and solutions amid serious climate change
Research news | 2015-06-17
Amid climate change, restoring ecosystem services in urban areas not only environmentally sound and good for health but may also be financially smart
Research news | 2015-06-10
Seminar talk on the benefits of children being outdoor and exposed to nature
Research news | 2015-06-05
Special issue highlights the social importance of ecosystem services in urban areas
Research news | 2015-05-19
ARTS-projektet organiserar en konsttävling i Stockholmsregionen - förlängd deadline till 18 juni!
Research news | 2015-04-01
A special issue of AMBIO features 14 scientific articles from the interdisciplinary research project Ekoklim

Learn more

Theme contacts

Stephan Barthel, theme leader

Åsa Gren, theme leader

Maria Schewenius, project coordinator


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Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B | Phone: +46 8 674 70 70 |
Organisation number: 202100-3062 | VAT No: SE202100306201