SLU news

UrbanScapes - an entryway to SLU's palette of knowledge and networks in urban landscapes

Published: 27 May 2021
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SLU Urban Futures has launched a new, complementary website to, called UrbanScapes. The site compiles transdisciplinary research projects and work related to sustainable urban development at SLU. A wide range of projects are displayed, with themes ranging from schoolyards and urban childhoods, ecosystem services, to circular urban food production.

UrbanScapes brings forward a selection of urban-focused work from all of SLU’s four faculties. The purpose of the page is:

  • to inspire SLU researchers and teachers to include urban and transdisciplinary perspectives in their projects
  • to encourage new collaborations/projects, within and outside of SLU
  • to expand the reach of SLU Urban Futures and through questions on the UrbanScapes site, engage wider audiences in exploring perspectives on sustainable urban development
  • to highlight methods, creativity, and new approaches in research and teaching
  • to link research to important and relevant societal issues related to the urban.

The questions on the front page will be updated on a continuous basis along with new content and categories. The challenges addressed on UrbanScapes are global in nature meaning a large part of the target audience is international, therefore the working language will be English.

Urban Take-Aways - an interview series

Parallel to the website launch, the platform also published the first film in the series ‘Urban Take-Aways’. Nina Vogel, Acting Programme Director for SLU Urban Futures, interviews the Futures Lab’s coordinator Josefin Wangel, who shares experiences and challenges from transdisciplinary collaborations.

The Futures Lab was run as a project in 2020 and was initiated by the two future platforms SLU Urban Futures and SLU Future Food. Under a period of 12 months, a group of researchers took part in a ‘crash course’ in future studies, where they designed and implemented their own projects with clear future perspectives.

The transdisciplinary research group in 2020 consisted of seven researchers with different backgrounds and experiences, all of whom in some way work with issues related to sustainable cities or food systems. In the middle of the Urban Take-Away film, we get to hear some of the participants sharing their personal experiences from The Futures Lab.

Urban Voices

Another format that has moved to UrbanScapes is the article series Urban Voices. This project began in the spring of 2020 (under the name Urban Readings) when the platform, like so many others, had the chance to rethink, test new ideas and connect with researchers and practitioners from around the world. At the time of writing, there are 18 articles with perspectives from 11 different countries. The theme for the first nine features looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic affected cityscape in the spring of 2020. The other nine features are written on the theme 'Transformation to new realities from Covid - green or growth?'. A new theme, ‘Creating sustainable urban communities - critical perspectives on sustainable urban development’ will be launched shortly.

A transdisciplinary knowledge bank

In 2021, UrbanScapes will also be expanded with a transdisciplinary knowledge bank. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen the interest in, and knowledge of, transdisciplinary work, with a focus on urban transformations.

Urban Take-Aways: The Futures Lab

Urban Take-Aways is a film series where we meet researchers and practitioners from various disciplines and fields, who share insights from inspiring projects related to urban sustainability. In this film, we meet Josefin Wangel and the participants on the Futures Lab at SLU 2020.



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.