SLU news

New questions are raised when Urban Readings launches a new theme

Published: 15 December 2020

In the spring of 2020, SLU Urban Futures started the project ‘Urban Readings’, when columnists, researchers, writers and practitioners from different parts of the world were invited to write about sustainable urban development in the light of covid-19. Nine texts, with nine different perspectives, were published in the spring and summer. In December 2020, the platform starts a new chapter, with a new theme - and a number of new writers have been invited. First in line is Wiebren J. Boonstra.

The Urban Readings Project is a multidisciplinary endeavour that brings together a diversity of voices from academia and societal actors to reflect upon issues within the urban realm. The project engages writers across disciplines to capture synergies between knowledge areas and understand the interaction of the drivers and effects of urbanization, and the interconnection of societal, environmental and economic processes. The new theme for winter 20/21,'Transformation to new realities from COVID - green or growth?', is a continuation of the previous theme of the pandemic. 

First is line is Wiebren J. Boonstra, Researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at Uppsala University. He writes about the importance of rural areas for sustainable urban development and the value and dignity of rural work, which is often overlooked in development trajectories and sustainability agendas. Read his essay here:
Socially distanced and intricately connected: The importance of rural places for urban renewal

Urban Readings - Round two

The theme for the second round of Urban Reading places a critical eye on the concept of Building Back Better? A narrative of a green recovery from COVID-19 is gaining momentum among urban planners, academics and policy-makers alike but with differing perspectives on the environmental, social and economic realities of this transformation. As some cities and urban areas emerge from the pandemic, what are the consequences and impacts of these new realities? Does a new normal exist and are societies transforming toward something fundamentally different from before? 


SLU Urban Futures

SLU Urban Futures is a strategic research platform with the mission to inspire and support the faculties of SLU to initiate, develop and strengthen multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research, education and collaboration within the field of sustainable urban development.

Read more about SLU Urban Futures.


Urban Readings spring/summer 2020:

  • COVID-19 and the Need for Equitable Urban Advocacy
    Daniel Rotsztain, Urban Geographer, artist, writer and cartographer, Canada

  • Social movements in times of isolation
    Antonia Besa, architect and landscape architect, Chile and Australia

  • We Need to Talk About Trauma
    Chiara Camponeschi, Director of Enabling City, Canada

  • The View from the Envelope: the experience of being locked down without landscape
    Julian Raxworthy, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia

  • Beyond humans: responses of urban wildlife to the COVID-19 pandemic
    Tim Hofmeester, researcher at the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, SLU

  • Messy informality and the evolution of the urban village in China in times of pandemic
    Guanchao Liu and Gini Lee, Landscape architecture, University of Melbourne

  • The Post-Covid City
    Francis Nordemann, architect and urban planner, France

  • Outbreak, Rebound & Prevention - post corona reflections
    Dirk Sijmons, landscape architect, The Netherlands

  • The Limits of Common Kindness
    Anne Cunningham, pracademic and landscape architect, New Zeeland