Social-Ecological Urbanism: Lessons in Design from the Albano Resilient Campus

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Stockholm Resilience Centre

Abstract: Currently there is a demand for practical ways to integrate ecological insights into practices of design, which previously have lacked a substantive empirical basis. In the process of developing the Albano Resilient Campus, a transdisciplinary group of ecologists, design scholars, and architects pioneered a conceptual innovation, and a new paradigm of urban sustainability and development: Social-Ecological Urbanism.  Social-Ecological Urbanism is based on the frameworks of Ecosystem Services and Resilience thinking. This approach has created novel ideas with interesting repercussions for the international debate on sustainable urban development. From a discourse point of view, the concept of SEU can be seen as a next evolutionary step for sustainable urbanism paradigms, since it develops synergies between ecological and socio-technical systems. This case study collects ‘best practices’ that can lay a foundational platform for learning, innovation, partnership and trust building within the field of urban sustainability. It also bridges gaps in existing design approaches, such as Projective Ecologies and Design Thinking, with respect to a design methodology with its basis firmly rooted in Ecology.

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