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Pernilla Hagbert

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About me

Pernilla Hagbert is a researcher at the division of Urban and Regional Studies at the Dept. of Urban Planning and Environment at KTH. Pernilla's research addresses the barriers and opportunities for sustainability transitions across multiple scales; from norm-critical perspectives on everyday practices, exploring the interpretations (and paradoxes) of sustainability in housing and urban development, developing capacities for transformation in municipal and regional planning, to critically examining "green" industrial transformations and scenarios for a future sustainable society.

Current research

Pernilla leads KTH's part of the Formas funded project "Prospects and barriers for sustainability in alternative housing", where she heads a task to explore the framing of sustainability and the claims made in relation to alternative housing in Sweden, with some comparative aspects to Denmark. She is also involved in another Formas project, "DelA - explorative housing prototypes for sharing architecture", where Pernilla is looking at particularly the immaterial aspects of shared forms of housing.

She is also part of the research program Mistra Sustainable Consumption, where she is engaged in the sub-project on "Public policy experiments" to explore municipal and regional capacities to work with new ways to promote sustainable consumption in collaboration with different actors.

Together with researchers from IVL, Pernilla also works in the project "Life and labour in industry climate transitions",focusing primarily on the situated, local experiences and perspectives on transition pathways in the Swedish petro-chemical industry in Västra Götaland and iron and steel industry in Norrbotten.

Pernilla has also co-initiated a a newly started network at KTH called Norma, which gathers researchers and others engaged in norm-critical perspectives on sustainability and energy-related research.

Previous projects

Pernilla originally holds a PhD in Architecture from Chalmers University of Technology. In 2016, she defended her thesisA sustainable home? Reconceptualizing home in a low-impact society, which explored notions of home and interpretations of sustainability among residents, architects and developers in contemporary housing development.

Between 2016-2018 Pernilla was a Post-doc within the Formas funded strong research environment "Beyond GDP-growth - Scenarios for sustainable building and planning". Within the project, she was involved in work packages dealing with Everyday Practices, the Built Environment, and Policy and Planning. This was then taken further in the IVL lead communication project "From scenarios to change - tools for sustainable transition at local and regional level", 2019-2021, where Pernilla was part of developing workshop tools based in the scenarios and testing these in a range of Swedish municipalities, county administration boards and regions.

Pernilla has been the project leader for a large design research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, called "Gendered Sustainability: norm-critical explorations of energy practices for everyday transitions”, between 2018-2022. She has also been engaged in other Energy Agency funded projects exploring design and narratives: "Critical Design as a Way to Expose Norms Within the Sustainability Discourse"and "Beyond Efficiency".

Doctoral supervision and teaching

Pernilla currently co-supervises (as de facto main supervisor) doctoral student Hanna Eggestrand Vaughan and leads the doctoral project "Values in practice: Framing policy and planning for sustainable consumption", funded by Formas, 2022-2025. She also co-supervises doctoral student Naomi Lipke.

She teaches, supervises and lectures on topics of sustainability transitions, norm-critical and intersectional approaches in sustainability, urban development and housing issues.


Popular scientific accounts of Pernilla's research have been covered in various media outlets, including national TV and radio, web publications and print newspapers/magazines. Pernilla has furthermore presented her work to various stakeholders from policy, the public sector and practice on a municipal, regional and national level, and enjoys engaging in societal outreach as part of her work for a more sustainable development of both the housing sector and society as whole.


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

Mechatronics, Advanced Course Spring Semester (MF2058), teacher, assistant | Course web

Sustainable Planning and Design (AG2150), teacher | Course web

Swedish Society, Culture and Industry in Historical Perspective (AK1213), teacher | Course web

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Publication list