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Sustaining Future Urban Natures: Interdisciplinary Engagements with Contested Urban Ecologies

With increased urbanisation and notions of an ecological crisis, there has been a wide interest in urban 'green spaces', portrayed as increasingly important for human well-being and as 'green infrastructure' to enhance the quality of life in cities. Green spaces serve a multitude of functions in cities world wide and they are one of the most common features of cities, although they are often challenged by demands for space, growth, development projects, or planning ideas which from time to time have argued against urban greens.

In this collaboration between two highly qualified but quite different integrated education-and-research environments in the Global North and the Global South respectively we will comparatively explore trajectories of value formation around green spaces in urban regions, so far primarily in Scandinavia and in South Africa but with outlooks to the rest of the world. We are especially interested in the multitude of approaches taken to use, care for, and protect - all in all: sustain - green spaces in cities and the many different practices that are deployed in this work. The overall aim of the initiation project is to build a collaboration including exchange of PhD students, faculty and collaborative teaching based on research.

Project leader: Sverker Sörlin
Participants at the Division: Sverker Sörlin, Henrik Ernstson, Susanna Lidström and Isabel Perez
Funding agency: STINT
Duration: 2013-2014