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Blue Light in Green Surroundings: Challenges and opportunities for emergency and rescue services in Sweden

How long should one wait for rescue services if the house burns in a sparsely populated area in Sweden? Is it meaningful to report an on-going burglary or physical abuse if the exposed person knows that the police won´t arrive until several hours have passed? How can we describe the private alternatives, who are they and how do they function?

The aim here is to identify and examine challenges and opportunities related to rural emergency and rescue services in rural areas. This aim is going to be achieved by first investigating the nature of emergency service provision in Sweden in face of the changes in supply and forms of emergency and rescue services. Then, by focusing particularly in rural areas, and in particular groups and services, we assess how the on-going transformation of emergency service provision affects everyday life of those groups living in most sparsely populated areas.

This research project is ongoing (2017-2023) and funded by FORMAS and has its basis at Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment at KTH and is developed in cooperation with Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University and Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University.

Prof Vania Ceccato,  Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment, KTH (Project leader)
Jacob Hassler , PhD candidate, Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment, KTH
Prof Susanne Stenbacka,  Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University
Ass. Prof Tobias Andersson Granberg, Depart. of Science and Technology, Linköping University

Robin Petersson, research assistant, KTH (2019), Richard Stassen, research assistant, KTH (2017-2019), Runa Björnsdóttir (2018).


  • Hassler, J., Andersson Granberg, T., Steins, K. & Ceccato, V (2024). Towards more realistic measures of accessibility to emergency departments in Sweden. International Journal of Health Geographics (Accepted for publication).
  • Hassler, J. (2024). Where are the people in emergency service planning? - Assessing the geography and equity of access to emergency services in Sweden (PhD dissertation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology).
    Retrieved from:
  • Hassler, J., Andersson Granberg, T. & Ceccato, V. (2023) Socio-spatial Inequities of Fire and Rescue Services in Sweden: An Analysis of Real and Estimated Response Times. Fire Technology.
  • Hassler, J & Ceccato, V (2023). Temporal variations in the demand for ambulances in urban and rural areas: Towards equitable ambulance services in Sweden. Geografiska Annaler B.
    Retrieved from:
  • Ceccato, V. (2022) Geographical information and GIS in rural criminology. In: R. A. Weisheit, J. R. Peterson; A. Pytlarz (Eds.), Research Methods for Rural Criminologists.
  • Stenbacka, S. (2022). Rural Policing: Spaces of Coherence and Fragmentation. I: Bowden, M. & Harkness, A. (Eds.) Rural Transformations and Rural Crime. International Critical Perspectives in Rural Criminology. Bristol University Press. S. 143-163.
  • Ceccato, V., Solymosi, R. & Müller, O. (2021). The Use of Twitter by Police Officers in Urban and Rural Contexts in Sweden. International Criminal Justice Review, 31(4), 456-476.
  • Stenbacka, Susanne (2020) Polisfrånvaro och periferialisering. I: Stenbacka, S. & Heldt Cassel, S. Periferi som process. Ymer 2020, Årgång 140. Stockholm: Svenska Sällskapet för Antropologi och Geografi. (s. 109-130)

Participation in conferences and media

Page responsible:Vania Ceccato
Belongs to: Department of Urban Planning and Environment
Last changed: Feb 21, 2024