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Ongoing Research projects

Ongoing research projects


Digitalisation and the public sphere and ICT4s 2024

This two-part project aims to work with two aspects of developing digitalization and a smart societies field of inquiry. These two work packages address (1) a broader societal perspective (WP1), and a specific activity (WP2).

WP 1: Public culture, public space and digitalisation in society
For digitalization to be “good” in the broader, societal sense (i.e. where good is shorthand for increased well-being, quality of life, justice, fairness, democracy, and sustainability) the development and implementation of the technology need to be informed by ethical analysis and sensitive to stakeholder values. In short, it must be developed in a manner compatible with the open, democratic society. Digitalization processes, therefore, need to engage with norms, values, habits, perceptions, and practices in society. To engage with public culture is a way both to find acceptance and to increase uptake. WP1 will begin by conducting an in-depth investigation of how digitalization is both forming its own public space and affecting existing public spaces as sites of negotiation of public culture. Approaching these issues through the lens of “public culture” enables the researchers to acknowledge that while these perceptions are entangled, intersubjective and negotiated in character, they can and should inform and complement the more abstract analysis of societal ethics and values. To combine a theory-driven, top-down analysis with an empirical, stakeholder-informed bottom-up perspective makes for a more balanced and applicable ethical framework.

WP 2: Organization and sustainability of the ICT4S 2024 conference
WP2 will be headed by Mattias Höjer at KTH SEED.

  • Funders: Digital Futures
  • Funding: SEK 500 000
  • Partners: KTH, SU, RiSE
  • Role: Project leader, Work Package leader WP1
  • Team at KTH: Daniel Koch (project  leader), Barbro Fröding (WP1), Mattias Höjer (lead WP2), Evelina Eriksson (WP2)
  • Directly linked publications
    • pending
  • See also


NorDark: Unconventional methods to inform sustainable design: Mediating the needs of people and nature in Nordic after-dark environments

Urban developments are growing, and related design has evolved by putting human needs and interests first. In order to develop in a sustainable way, we urgently need to balance our needs with the needs of nature. 

Education and policymaking play crucial roles to provide balance for responsible practices, however, concrete data and knowledge is necessary to inform policy development. In this broader context, one focus area particularly relevant in Nordic countries is the use of electric light in after-dark outdoor environments, and the impact it has on flora, fauna, and energy use, as well as human behaviour and wellbeing. 

The Nordark consortium project is funded by NordForsk with co-funding from the Swedish Energy Agency.


Sensable Stockholm Lab: Urban Segregation Phase 2 (2022-2023)

Urban segregation and unequal living conditions are urgent contemporary challenges. The ongoing expansion of Stockholm is an opportunity to develop Stockholm into a more socially sustainable city characterized by less segregation and more equal living conditions. The city highlights the importance of a coherent urban structure, public spaces of high quality, climate sensitive. In this project, which constitutes one study within the project of urban segregation in the Sensable Stockholm Lab, the goal is to find out what are the urban characteristics (including configurative properties, physical features, and spatiotemporal variations in land use that make people to congregate in certain areas of the city. The aim is to use digital, geographical information, collected through sensors in public space and other means, as a proxy to people dynamics in selected areas in Stockholm. This will be compared to this data with information about urban form and configurative properties (e.g. spatial integration and betweenness, and visual characteristics based on online street views, analysed using convolutional neural networks), and with information on spatiotemporal variations use of urban areas (e.g. comparing official land use maps with data on points of interests, including opening hours, service typology, public rating).  The study will highlight differences across the city and analyses are designed in order to respond to how social processes and phenomena relate to architecture, urban design and planning. 

Senable Stockholm Lab is a long-term cooperation where KTH together with MIT, one of the world’s highest-ranking universities, are now entering into a research collaboration around urban planning and development where Stockholm city is the focus. The hub for the research will be KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab. The idea is that the cooperation as a whole should find new ways and methods for the smart city. This is with regard to, for example, transport, mobility, energy, water supply and behavior patterns that reflect what a city is through the use of large amounts of existing—and collection of—new data, as well as AI.


Senseable Stockholm Lab: City Change: Effects of Urban Interventions

The city of Stockholm is a growing city. This transformation comes with challenges but it is also a great opportunity to develop the city in line with the city planning objectives specified in  the comprehensive plan to generate positive effects on existing neighbourhoods and the built environment with every new project. This project intends to pilot a monitoring system to detect these changes, investigating  and evaluating the impacts of specific development projects to create a deeper, more refined, and more thorough understanding of what kinds of contextual effects projects have. We plan to study this impact as it spreads through time and space, measuring various urban features. We measure the impact on property prices, opening/closing of business, ground floor activity, physical transformation of the urban environment, and other metrics to measure the impact of public interventions on street life. These results will support the City of Stockholm to evaluate measures and targets in the planning practice and to predict the impact of future urban interventions.

Senseable Stockholm Lab is a long-term cooperation where KTH together with MIT, one of the world’s highest-ranking universities, are now entering into a research collaboration around urban planning and development where Stockholm city is the focus.

  • Funders: KTH, Stockholm city, Stockholm's Chamber of Commerce, and the company Newsec via Sensable Stockholm Lab
  • Funding: SEK 2 800 000 (1.4MSEK at KTH)
  • Partners: KTH, MIT, Stockholm City
  • Role: Researcher (PI)
  • Team at KTH: Björn Berggren, Daniel Koch, Mats Wilhelmsson
  • Directly linked publications:
    • pending


Architecture and Urbanism, addressing the social space in the 21st century (2017-2022)

The 21st century ushered in a number of new concerns for architecture and urbanism such as a critical review of the disciplines that deal with space conception, subsequent to the ideological vicissitudes of the Modern Movement and Strategic Planning, as well as the new social and economic processes of space production. 

The critical renewal of these disciplines is necessary in order to continue to fight for an informed and open-minded transformation of the meanings of the city. There were few transformations in Brazilian cities since the beginning of their industrialization and modernization processes. However, from the end of the 20th century some significant advances in terms of urban policy tools have been apparent. See further on the project webpage and the FAPESP funding information.