Stories & Projects

Open lecture: Interrogating the Sustainable City

In November 2018, Umeå School of Architecture invited the public to four Wednesday Open Lectures with architects Josefin Wangel, Rocío Pina, Javier Sánchez Merina and Art Historian Halldóra Arnardóttir. The lecture held by Josefin Wangel was an interrogation of the sustainable city, with the aim of identifying key shortcomings and silences which need to be addressed for urban sustainability to materialise. 

About the lecture: The last decades has seen an increasing emphasis on the role of cities and urban development to reach sustainability goals. Indeed, given the increasing proportion and numbers of global inhabitants living in cities and the fact that urban areas stand for a disproportionately large share of environmental impact, urban sustainability is and will continue to be pivotal for sustainable development at large. There is however a lack of conceptual clarity regarding what, more precisely, a sustainable city is, or should be, in terms of livability and environmental impact. In other words, there is a lack of definition of what level of performance a city should live up to in order to be considered sustainable. This in turn connects to more fundamental questions of the spatiality of impact and who sustainability is really for. The lecture held by Josefin Wangel was an interrogation of the sustainable city, with the aim of identifying key shortcomings and silences which need to be addressed for urban sustainability to materialise. 

About the lecturer: Josefin Wangel is an un-disciplined researcher and teacher on urban sustainbility with a passion for socio-material systems thinking, critical theory and speculative approaches, particularly to explore and address the paradox/oxymoron of sustainable + urban. She is reader (docent) in Landscape Architecture (2018) and holds a PhD in Planning and Decision Analysis (2012). Josefin is also co-director for SLU Urban Futures, a platform at SLU which aims to strengthen trans- and interdisciplinary research and education on urban issues, focusing on spatial and socio-ecological sustainability perspectives on urban landscapes as habitats for humans and other-than-human beings as well as on urban-hinterland and urban-rural interactions. 

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    The Stories & Projects section is a space for brief updates about the activities at Umeå School of Architecture: notes from on-going projects, links to articles in media, summaries from public lectures, reports on different collaborations. Click on the titles to see each full story.