SLU news

Alnarp Campus – towards a Lab Campus

Published: 13 December 2018
Wooden bridges over a stream in a green landscape.

Alnarp is more than an island of outdoor leisure in the midst of the increasingly urbanised Öresund region, it is also a campus with outdoor teaching and many research facilities. On campus you find unique living laboratories and researchers are now striving to establish Alnarp as a ‘Lab Campus’.

Alnarp is known by residents of Lomma, Burlöv, Malmö and around for its extraordinary park, soon ready for winter strolls in the snow, in other seasons for picking ramsons, lingering on lawns or walking under an autumn canopy – for example in the so-called Landscape Laboratory, an experimental urban woodland planted by SLU researchers, teachers, students and invited foresters, artists and interested lay people over the past 30 years.

Besides the Landscape Lab there are horticultural labs, an arboretum, a rehabilitation garden, and many more areas for experimenting and learning under the sky, in a unique spatial setting rarely found at other universities. This is why SLU Urban Futures currently supports various teaching, research and outreach initiatives to develop this spatial diversity into a green and collaborative ‘Lab Campus’, fit for offering services to the intended double number of students to be attracted to SLU in the coming years:

  • SLU Urban Futures director Lisa Diedrich and urban forestry professor Anders Busse Nielsen are co-editors in chief of the book Woods go Urban: three decades of experiments with woodlands in Landscape Laboratories, to be published in spring 2019, with contributions of the Landscape Lab founder Roland Gustavsson and many colleagues who have researched and taught in the Lab.

  • urban vegetation and design researchers belonging to SLU Landscape have retrieved ideas from colleagues and stakeholders at Alnarp and around how a ‘Landscape Laboratory 2.0’ could look like.

  • an extended group of researchers of SLU Landscape now aims to establish a mapping of all the different outdoor labs and experimental areas, to describe and communicate across organisational and scientific borders the qualities of Alnarp as a ‘Green and Collaborative Campus’.

  • Landscape architecture students of this autumn’s Planning Project master course under the guidance of researcher Gunilla Lindholm have developed scenarios for how to plan and design such a ‘Lab Campus’.

  • SLU Urban Futures coordinator Nina Vogel investigates how to position the Alnarp Lab Campus within current transformative science approaches based on Real-World Labs.

Science and education for sustainable life is SLU’s motto – Alnarp Campus has everything to translate this ambition into space.


Lisa Diedrich, Professor

The Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, SLU, +46 40-41 54 24