UNDER: Geosystem services underneath for sustainable communities and improved spatial planning practices
Research Project, 2021 – 2025

Geosystem services (GS) are benefits derived by humans from the subsurface: the use of the subsurface to build and construct in and on, groundwater, energy and material extraction, storing of e.g. water, energy and carbon dioxide, providing habitats for ecosystems and support for surface life, and serving as an archive of cultural and geological heritage. Sectorial management and lack of consequent consideration of GS promote the first-come-first-served principle without thorough consideration of competing or complementary subsurface uses, hindering a sustainable management of the subsurface and compromises inter- and intra-generational equity. The proposed project is case study driven with the overall goal to develop a framework for systematic and structured consideration of GS in Swedish planning practices that can support the transformation to sustainable cities and communities. Specific objectives are to: i) advance the concept of GS by identifying and mapping associated societal values (social, environmental and economic), ii) identify methods to assess societal values and investigate possibilities for integration in existing tools, iii) identify structures of governance and develop a broader and practice-informed understanding of the different societal actors in subsurface planning, and iv) create a participative learning environment, extended beyond the project implementation period leading to transformative processes in planning practice.


Jenny Norrman (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Emrik Lundin Frisk

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Yevheniya Volchko

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics


City of Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden

Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU)

Uppsala, Sweden

Holmboe & Skarp AB

Stockholm, Sweden

Lund University

Lund, Sweden

Malmö university

Malmö, Sweden

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Sydney, Australia



Project ID: 2021-00057
Funding Chalmers participation during 2021–2025


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