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Erixon Aalto, Hanna
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Erixon Aalto, H. (2017). Projecting Urban Natures: Investigating integrative approaches to urban development and nature conservation. (Doctoral dissertation). KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Projecting Urban Natures: Investigating integrative approaches to urban development and nature conservation
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Projecting Urban Natures is a compilation thesis in critical studies in architecture. It comprises three journal articles and four design proposals in which I have taken an active part. The point of departure for this thesis is the renewed emphasis on social-ecological interaction and resilience that is currently taking place within ecological systems science, and the opportunities that these paradigmatic insights in turn have opened up within urbanism and design. The thesis argues that although they are promising, these emerging integrative frameworks are seldom brought into mainstream planning and urban design practice. Instead, the structuring of “nature” and “city” into a dualistic balance relationship still permeates not only the general planning discourse, but also makes its way into planning documents, notably influencing distinctions between professions. In response, this thesis sets out to rethink and explore more integrated approaches to human/nature relationships, through the utilization of design-based and transdisciplinary research methods. While this core aim of the thesis remains the same throughout the work, the task is approached from different perspectives: through different constellations of collaborative work as well as through parallel case-based explorations that emphasize the relational, anti-essentialist and situated articulation of values of urban natures and how these forces come into play. The work has been propelled through workshop-based, site-specific, and experimental design processes with professionals and researchers from the fields of e.g. systems ecology, natural resource management, political ecology, urban design, architecture, and landscape design, as well as planners, developers, local interest groups, and NGOs. Specifically, projects performed within this thesis include: Nature as an Infrastructural Potential – An Urban Strategy for Järvafältet; Kymlinge UrbanNatur together with NOD, Wingårdhs, MUST and Storylab; Årsta Urban Natures with James Corner Field Operations and Buro Happold; and Albano Resilient Campus — a collaboration between Stockholm Resilience Centre, KTH and KIT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017
TRITA-ARK. Akademisk avhandling, ISSN 1402-7461 ; 17:03
research through design; interdisciplinary; transdisciplinary; resilience, legibility; landscape urbanism; ecological urbanism; Stockholm; Green Wedges; projective narratives; comprehensive narratives; prototyping; ecosystem services; urban nature conservation
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217153 (URN)9789177295518 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-01, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20171102

Available from: 2017-11-07 Created: 2017-11-01 Last updated: 2017-11-08Bibliographically approved
Erixon Aalto, H., Marcus, L. & Torsvall, J.Towards A Social-Ecological Urbanism: Co-producing knowledge through design in the Albano Resilient Campus project in Stockholm.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards A Social-Ecological Urbanism: Co-producing knowledge through design in the Albano Resilient Campus project in Stockholm
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

If we are to promote urban sustainability and resilience, social-ecological knowledge must be better integrated in urban planning and design projects. Due to gaps in the two cultures of thinking associated with the disciplines of ecology and design, such integration has, however, proven challenging. In mainstream practice, ecologists often act as sub-consultants; they are seldom engaged in the creative and conceptual phases of the process. Conversely, research aiming to bridgethe gap between design and ecology has tended to be dominated by arelatively static and linear outlook on what the design process is, and what it could be. Further, few concrete examples of the co-production of ecological and design knowledge exist. In this paper, we give an account of a transdisciplinary design proposal for Albano Resilient Campus in Stockholm, discussing how design – seen as a process and an assemblage of artifacts – can act as a framework for co-producing knowledge and operationalizing concepts of resilience and ecosystem services. Througha design-based and action-oriented approach, we discuss how such a collaborative design process may integrate ecological knowledge into urban design through three concrete practices: a) iterative prototyping and generative matrix models; b) designerly mediators or “touchstones”; and c) legible, open-ended, comprehensive narratives. In the conclusion, we sketch the contours of a social-ecological urbanism, speculatingon possible broader and changed roles for ecologists, designers, and associated actors within this framework.

Social-Ecological Urbanism; design theory; resilience; ecosystem services; transdisciplinary; prototyping; co-design
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217146 (URN)

QCR 20171102

Available from: 2017-11-01 Created: 2017-11-01 Last updated: 2017-11-02Bibliographically approved

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