Urban Sustainability

  • focus on widely understood ethics and political philosophy
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The group researches the social and economic impacts of sustainable development on urban and regional development.

Urban Sustainability

Focus of the group

  • Sustainability-relevant impacts of the spatial development of cities and urban regions (e.g. consequences in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, soil for food production, health, social equity)
  • Livability and the design of supportive human environments
  • Driving forces, structures, power dynamics, discourses and actors influencing the kind of urban development taking place
  • The role of urban planning in fostering or hampering sustainability
  • Normative aspects of the concept of sustainable development (including environmental justice) and how these are articulated and given priority

Within these themes, the focus is on environmental, social as well as economic aspects of sustainable development and its implications for urban and regional planning

Group activities

The group organizes 4 half-day seminars each semester, focusing on academic topics (as distinct from administrative issues), often with external presenters. Seminars are open for members of other research groups of the faculty as well.

Examples of topics of research group seminars. 

  • ”Green fix” as crisis management (March 2017) (with Ståle Holgersen, University of Uppsala)
  • Future urban form in 14 city regions in Finland (February 2017) (with Mika Ristimäki, Finnish Environmental Research Institute)
  • Resilience: from ecology to society (February 2017) (with Simin Davoudi, University of Newcastle)
  • Social justice in the compact city (November 2016) (with Per Gunnar Røe, University of Oslo)
  • Densification, housing quality and social sustainability (October 2016). With Lene Schmidt, former NIBR
  • Discussion of new upcoming research projects and applications, plus presentation on Compact city, suburbia and neighborhood satisfaction (September 2016)
  • Farmland protection, food production and urban development (June 2016) (With Sebastian Eiter, NIBIO)
  • Discussion of the scope of a new “Top Research” position that has been allocated to the group (May 2016)
  • Normative and ethical dimensions of urban sustainability (April 2016)
  • Consumption, lifestyles and low carbon cities (February 2016) (With Jukka Heinonen, University of Iceland)
  • Presentation of application for CoE on Post-Ecomodernization Urban Sustainability, and discussion on research mentoring (December 2015)
  • Futures studies and scenario planning (October 2015)
  • Cost-benefit analyses in planning – to be refined or abandoned? (September 2015) (With Niek Mouter, TU Delft)
  • Sustainable urban development – ecological modernization and/or degrowth? (May 2015) (With Ståle Navrud, the Business School)
  • Urban green structure and sustainability (April 2015)
  • Discussion of ideas for a large and coordinated interdisciplinary research effort into urban sustainability (Feb 2015)
  • Discourse analysis (Nov 2014) (With Tim Richardson, by then at Swedish Agricultural University)
  • Place identity (Oct 2014)
  • Mobility, accessibility and availability (Sept 2014). (With Jan Scheurer, Curtin University, Australia)
  • Causality and the built environment (May 2014) (With Stephen Mumford and Rana Lill Anjum from the Business School)
  • Environmental esthetics (Apr 2014)
  • Different perspectives on the compact city (Dec 2013)
  • Advances in discourse studies (Nov 2013). (With Paul McIlvenny, Aalborg University)
  • Transition theory and the multi-level perspective (Oct 2013)
  • Social justice in urban development (Apr 2013)

Group members 

  • Professors: Inger-Lise Saglie, Kine H. Thoren, Tim Richardson and Petter Næss (group coordinator)
  • Associate Professors: Jin Xue and Deni Ruggeri
  • Postdoctoral Researchers: Beata Sirowy and Harpa Stefansdottir
  • University Lecturer: Martin Lund Iversen.
  • PhD Fellows: Lillin Knudtzon, Gordana Marjanovic, Melissa Murphy, Sebastian Peters, Kristine Lien Skog, Rasmus Steffansen, Fitwi Wolday, Kostas Mouratidis, Anja Standal and Elin Tanding Sørensen.  

Some of the members are also active in other research groups.

Research projects funded by the Research Council Norway (RCN):

  • “Where and how should we build our homes? – Residential location, activity participation and travel behavior” (RESACTRA). 2014-2017, headed by NMBU
  • “Spatial planning, vacation homes and climate change” (SPAVACC). 2015-2018, headed by NMBU
  • “Investigating three complex issues regarding effects of land use- and transport-systems developments on traffic volumes and GHG emissions” (URBANEFF) (2015-2018, headed by TØI, NMBU carries out a substantial part)

Other externally funded research projects

  • “Beyond MALPE-coordination: integrative envisioning” (BEMINE). 2016-2018, headed by Aalto University, Finland, funded by the Finnish Academy of Science.
  • “Ignored and underestimated negative impacts of transport investments”. Headed by the NTNU, funded by the Concept research program.

PhD projects

  • Urban form of a dense city: the case of Oslo (Gordana Marjanovic)
  • Control or responsibility in urban residential spaces? (Melissa Murphy)
  • Reallocation of farmland - status, planning and future policies (Kristine Lien Skog)
  • Shared space as a planning concept for street design (Sebastian Peters)
  • Public democratic influence in local planning (Lillin Knudtzon)
  • Sustainable second home development and use: attractive opportunity or oxymoron? (Rasmus Steffansen)
  • Residential location and travel behavior in small towns (Fitwi Wolday)
  • Urban sustainability and subjective wellbeing: an investigation in a neighborhood context (Kostas Mouratidis)
  • Exploring sustainable urban densification (Anja Standal)
  • «Into the wild – interaction between ecology and urban design (Elin Tanding Sørensen)

Other projects resulting in publications since 2014:

  • Uncertainties in transport project evaluation
  • Urban sustainability and degrowth
  • Philosophy of science, planning and the built environment
  • Power in planning
  • The future of planning in the Nordic countries
  • Eco-city: a socially constructed path to urban sustainability
Published 20. September 2017 - 14:35 - Updated 6. September 2018 - 9:21