Analyzing city-densification from an ecological resilience perspective

City-densification, or “Smart Growth”, is considered to be an environmentally friendly approach for building cities. But to what extent holds this proposition true and what is actually meant by “dense”?

In this research project we explore the environmental rationales behind city densification through:

1) conducting a large-scale international literature review;

2) studying where and what type of land use city-densification is occurring in the Stockholm region; and

3) analyzing the potentials for improving resiliency of city-dense structures in Stockholm.

Purpose of project

The goal is to improve our environmental understanding of city-densification and to analyze to what extent it is possible to make such physical structures more ecologically resilient to meet an uncertain future of climate change and loss of ecosystem services.

Research involves reviewing the literature, and draws on a combination of methods used in urban morphology, GIS analyses, including studies related to resilience building of urban systems by way of Nature-Based Solutions and ecosystem services.

Project partner and participants

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics hosts this project. The Beijer Institute is an international research institute for global sustainability under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and is a partner to Urban Studio. Participants linked to the project are:

Johan Colding, University of Gävle / The Beijer Institute

Åsa Gren, The Beijer Institute

Erik Andersson, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stephan Barthel, University of Gävle


The project is funded through a 3-year grant from The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS).

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Gunilla Mårtensson Updated: 2022-03-14
Högskolan i Gävle
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