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Green urban living

Green urban living is a thematic area of research in Environmental Science. Here you can read more about ongoing projects and find the researchers and PhD students who are working in this area.

More than 50 % of the world’s population live in urban areas and this proportion is expected to rise to 70 % by 2050. Growing cities contribute to economic growth, but they also contribute to increasing social inequalities and pressures on ecosystems. The large-scale, rapid urban migration creates new demands that need to be addressed in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable way. Sustainable urban development includes sustainable construction and sustainable planning of housing, infrastructure, public spaces, transport, recycling and safer chemicals handling, which in turn require new technology and multi-sector cooperation. Inclusive and innovative urban planning is needed to make cities safer and sustainable for the future.

Research and innovation in this area can primarily be regarded from two currently dominant perspectives. One is the socio-technological, where sustainability is often addressed through increased efficiency in energy, transport and waste management, as well as densely urban environments that increase access to urban services. The other is the socio-ecological, which places greater emphasis on natural urban environments and their positive effects in the form of ecosystem services, improved health (mental, physical and social), as well as learning about nature and the environment and the impact on sustainable behaviour.

Ongoing research projects

The BIG project – Better quality of life with Integrated GIS

In the BIG project, Gävle is used as a test bed for understanding how healthy, sustainable and vibrant cities can be built in the future.

PhD students’ projects

For current PhD students’ projects, see the respective PhD students’ presentations.

Previous research projects
  • MEK – Environmental requirements, energy use and climate impact – a study of connections and opportunities (Marita Wallhagen)
    The project investigated the effects of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental auditing.
  • ZEUS – Spatial and experiential analyses for urban social sustainability (Stephan Barthel)
    One of the aims of the project was to develop a method for analysing spatial accessibility of both ecosystem services and urban services, as well as to evaluate how this accessibility affects the everyday experiences of residents.
  • Building industry project (Ricardo Ramírez Villegas)
    The study was based on a general review of the more commonly occurring building systems, weighing in the environmental and economic consequences of production methods, choice of materials, choice of installation systems, energy supply and energy efficiency.
  • One roof – five opportunities (Marita Wallhagen)
    The strategic innovation project “One roof – five opportunities” explores issues related to the establishment of green roofs in urban areas.
  • Augmented Urbans (Marita Wallhagen)
    The project was about designing attractive, sustainable and resilient outdoor environments. In this project, the University worked with residential developer Gavlegårdarna to design attractive outdoor environments that are more sustainable in the long term for people and biodiversity.

Stephan Barthel

E-mail: stephan.barthel@hig.se

Marita Wallhagen

Associate Professor
E-mail: marita.wallhagen@hig.se

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Gunilla Mårtensson Updated: 2023-11-28
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)