Post doctor - urban green spaces for biodiversity and health

Updated: 2 months ago

Department of Urban and Rural Development

The Department of Urban and Rural Development is located on SLU's main campus in Uppsala, and conducts education, research and collaboration in the subjects of agricultural history, rural development, landscape architecture and environmental communication. The department also has the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation, Swedish Biodiversity Center, and Sida's Helpdesk for Environment and Climate Changes. For more information, see


This position is part of the major project “LAND-PATHS: The landscapes of the future: barriers and drivers for transformation paths.” This is a five-year programme of research (2022-2027) funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) that aims to develop new strategies for governance and management that strengthen the landscape's biodiversity and promote its multifunctionality.  LAND-PATHS will apply a transdisciplinary approach, combining the expertise of researchers and stakeholders to co-create and explore: (1) a set of imaginaries of future multifunctional landscapes; (2) scenarios, including barriers and opportunities, for achieving such futures; (3) transformative governance pathways to catalyse such multifunctional landscapes. The programme focuses on five types of landscape - forest, agricultural, sea and coast, urban and mountain landscapes.

The successful candidate will join the team of Subproject 8 on urban landscapes and Subproject 2 on imaginaries of future landscapes. Many cities today have policies that acknowledge the importance of urban green areas for human health and biodiversity. However, according to the UN Convention on Biodiversity, cities too often “donot know how to incorporate nature and Nature’s Contributions to People into city planning.…” Thus, what we see in Sweden as well as globally, is a decrease in urban green areas.

The main aim of Subproject 8 and related work in Subproject 2 is to investigate barriers and opportunities regarding sustainable and integrated decision-making, management and planning regarding urban landscapes in Sweden, working from case studies in the Uppsala area. The work to be done includes interviews, focus groups, and workshops with stakeholders, as well as a literature review.

You will be based at the Department of Urban and Rural Development within the Landscape Management Unit in a team led by Marcus Hedblom. Close collaborators in the two subprojects include Terry Hartig at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University, and Neil Powell and Research Assistant Thao Do at the Sustainability Learning and Research Centre at Uppsala University.  The candidate will also be a member of the whole LAND-PATHS project team with numerous PhD students, post-docs, and senior researchers.


Because the research to be done is transdisciplinary in character, the successful applicant may have a PhD in any one of several disciplines, including environmental communication, environmental psychology, human geography, landscape architecture, urban ecology or equivalent.  Because the applicant will work in Sweden on Swedish case studies, applicants must have a high degree of fluency in spoken and written Swedish and English as well. Substantial experience in conducting interviews, focus groups, and workshops is also required. Experience with and understanding of transdisciplinary and participatory methodologies are desirable.

Place of work



100% for two years.

Starting date

1 May 2023 or according to agreement


We welcome your application no later than 2023-04-01, submitted through the site linked below. The application must contain: i) a cover letter explaining why you are applying for this position and what you would like to discover in this project (max 1 page), ii) your current CV, including a list of publications, and iii) contact information for a minimum of two references.

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

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