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Joseph Mulligan

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About me

I am an affiliated researcher at the SEED Department at KTH. My research and academic work over the last  decade spans urban sustainability assessment, integration of technical and local knowledges in decision making, flood risk management and community-based adaptation, and the integration of local sites of innovation and community-governed infrastuture into larger upgrading processes.

An overall theme is co-design of infrastructure and its relationship to technology choices, sustainability, and scales of implementation and governance.

My practice work in the last 12 years with Kounkuey Design Initative focuses on resident-led neighbourhood development with colleugues and partners in the US, Kenya, and Sweden has informed and illuminated a lot of my research questions.

I also worked for seven years in engineering consultancy and practice on "sustainable infrastructure" planning and design and delivery of water, wastewater, and drainage systems in Malaysia, US, India, China, Russia, UAE, and UK among other places. Parts of these experiences raised many questions for me about the nature of participation, and the meaning and quantiifcation of sustainability in mainstream and commercial planning and engineering practices.

I hold a Master of Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Imperial College London and École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. I graduated from the doctoral program in Planning and Decision Analysis at KTH as an industrial PhD student defending my thesis on "People, Climate, and Infrastructure" in October 2020. I am a chartered civil engineer with the UK Institution of Civil Engineers.

Recent papers/book chapters:

Odbert, C. and Mulligan, J. (in-press) “Messy Models and Missing Pieces: Interrogating the Problem Frame to Support Climate Justice in Nairobi and the Eastern Coachella Valley”, Chapter 15 - “Act” in “Climate Changed”, Eds. Turan, Freilich, Varner, Columbia Press.

Scaini, A., Mulligan, J., Berg, H. et al. (2024) “Pathways from research to sustainable development: Insights from ten research projects in sustainability and resilience.” Ambio (2024).

Çıdık, S., Garfias Royo, M., Mulligan, J., et al. (2024) “Political ecology perspective for a new way of understanding stakeholders and value in infrastructure projects”, International Journal of Project Management, Volume 42, Issue 2, 2024.


Degree Project in Strategies for Sustainable Development, Second Cycle (AL250X), teacher | Course web

Global Development and Political Ecology (AL2121), teacher | Course web

Resilience Thinking in Sustainable Planning (AL2511), teacher | Course web

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Publication list