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Jenny Lindblad

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Researcher ID

About me

PhD, Planning and Decision analysis, Urban and regional studies.

I work as a researcher and teacher at the division of Urban and Regional Studies, in connection with the research platform Space Politics and Ecologies

I am interested in how practices, expertise and materialities shape cities and urban life, specifically with regards to how environmental concerns are brougth to bear in urban planning and decision-making processes. I work with perspectives from anthropology, science and technology studies, planning studies, with a geographical focus on France and Sweden. I am on the steering group of The Swedish Anthropological Association (SANT). 

More on my ongoing research projects below.

My doctoral thesis, titled Planning Contexts: Bureaucracy and rule relations in French Urbanism (2020), investigated the social life of a planning bureaucracy in Bordeaux, France, in a time of national reforms aimed at transforming bureaucratic procedures. By following the making and uses of a land-use plan, I explored what calls for flexibility and negotiation in reforms aimed at public administrations come to mean in the quotidian work of bureaucrats, planners and politicians. Previously, I have explored these issues with regards to ticket barriers in Stockholm metro stations. I have been contributing editor for AnthroPod, the podcast of the Society for Cultural Anthropology.

I am happy to hear from master students who wish to work on urban planning through qualitative methods with topics related to, for instance, planners practices, bureaucracy, spatial and environmental justice, and questions around food production and land use in urban regions.

Ongoing projects

Humus Economicus : Soil Blindness and the value of "Dirt" in Urbanized landscapes.

This art and research project inquiries into the value and future of soil in urbanized landscapes. It seeks to draw attention to radically altered human-soil relations, the invisible work of soils, and practices of soil care in a time when soils are sealed and degraded at rapid rates. Humus economicus is initiated by artist and environmental humanities researcher Janna Holmstedt at National Historical Museums, Sweden. Funded by Formas – a Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (2021–2024).

Who develops the city of the future? Mapping the contested field of urban development expertise

Financed by FORMAS 2021-2023

In a rapidly urbanizing world increased attention is being paid to the development of urban environments. At the same time the array of experts who are expected to design and develop the cities of tomorrow is currently in a state of flux. New competencies are emerging, which all offer very different visions and trajectories for the development of cities. Therefore, it is today important to ask: ‘who shapes the city of the future – and to what effects?’. In order to address this question it is necessary to map and analyze the variegated landscape of expertise that currently contributes to shaping the cities of the future. The purpose of the project is thereforeto analyzethe patterns of competition and collaboration between assemblages of expertise within the urban development field in Sweden, and the effects of these patterns on the production of concrete urban environments. It develops a novel methodology of ‘collaborative field mapping’, working with practitioners to map different domains of expertise and their relations, showing how different formations of expertise build complementarity and/or competition at various stages of the urban development process. This material is supplemented by in-depth interviews and document studies to analyze how communities of expertise organize and legitimate their knowledge and practices.

Vad kan vi lära oss av 100-åringar? Värdeskapande kring långvariga småbutiker i stadskärnor​

Finansierat av Hakon Swenson Stiftelsen (2022-2023)

En av handelsforskare sällan uppmärksammad butikskategori i dagens moderna handelslandskap är små, fristående innerstadsbutiker som existerat sen tidigt 1900-tal. I projektetVad kan vi lära oss av 100-åringar? Värdeskapande kring långvariga småbutiker i stadskärnor” undersöker vi frågan om hur det kan förklaras att dessa butiker alls finns kvar. Med ett micro-sociologiskt perspektiv med fokus på värdeskapande, studerar vi ett 10-tal butiker i svenska storstäder. Vi kompletterar ekonomiska förklaringar med en mer värde-inklusiv ansats som undersöker hur olika aktörer – såsom butiksägare själva, personal, kunder, hyresvärdar, grossister, myndigheter, branschföreningar, politiker – i tid och rum ser och har sett på de här butikernas existens. ​

Projektet genomförs under två år av två företagsekonomer från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm och Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score) och en socialantropolog med inriktning på urbana studier vid Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan. Syftet är att bidra med efterfrågad kunskap om små butikers villkor att överleva i stadskärnor, och att bredda synen på detaljhandelns roll i samhällsutvecklingen av attraktiva städer. Empiriskt genomförs tre delprojekt: en policystudie 1900–2020 om offentliga organisationers syn på detaljhandelns roll i stadsutveckling; en etnografisk studie av 3 butiker inom Livsmedel, Konfektion och Hobby; samt en historiskt inriktad studie av värden, värdeskapande och överlevnadsstrategier kring 10 butiker från de valda butikskategorierna. Förutom en vetenskaplig artikel kommer projektet att generera en bok på svenska där de studerade butikerna illustreras i både ord och bild liksom presentationer av forskningsresultaten för intresserade praktiker.

Completed projects

Organizing sustainable cities: planning, strategy, governance, management

Funded by Vetenskapsrådet 2015-2018

TheOrganizing sustainable cities project aims at grasping how urban sustainable development becomes ‘translated’ as a concept and in practice through the networks and practice spheres of present-day city administrations. The project particularly focuses on the challenges faced by broad organizing ambitions, such as integrative strategies for sustainable urban development, when confronted with incongruent domains of practice that operate according to different protocols and in accordance with diverging values, norms and procedures. By following how actors in different spheres of practice in city administrations translate sustainability into practice in their own domain and make sense of it, the project will contribute to a better understanding of when, how and why this generates friction, incoherence and sometimes open conflict as to what constitutes sustainable urban development and how to ‘do’ it in practice.


Degree Project in Urban and Regional Planning, Second Cycle (AG212X), teacher | Course web

Planning Theory and Urban Governance (AG2127), teacher | Course web

Project Sustainable Urban Planning - Strategies for Urban and Regional Development (AG2129), teacher, assistant | Course web

Theory of Science and Research Methodology for Planning and Design (AG2126), teacher, assistant | Course web