Sköra stadslandskap: planeringsmetoder för att öppna urbaniseringens rumsliga inlåsningar
Doktorsavhandling, 2016

Spatial lock-ins may hinder the physical environment from adapting to new conditions and thereby risk to inhibit necessary change in society and reproduce current structures. This process reinforces uneven geographic development and urban interpretive prerogative. The study aims to strengthen the ability of planning practice to open spatial lock-ins caused by urbanisation and to confront challenges generated by uneven geographic development. Focus is set on how planning practice can establish and activate relevant local-regional contexts for specific planning situations, and clarify and enable combinations of resources that are made invisible when economic growth dominates planning objectives. The research is conducted through a design-based research process where participation in planning practices has enabled an active interplay between practice and theory. Through architectural thinking, spatial alternatives have been modelled to test theoretical argumentation, and has made visible and problematized spatial situations and their structural conditions. The research has been developed and made operative through the work in two empirical contexts: In-depth comprehensive plan Mariestad – Tidanpromenaden and Structural image Skaraborg as research tools. The study develops a theoretical and methodological framework constituted by three interacting conceptual tools. The first conceptual tool, fragile urban landscapes clarifies how spatial lock-ins cause fragile social, political, economic and ecological processes. It makes visible how the interplay between spatial conditions and structural transformations create lock-ins as combinations of scarcity of resources, competence, decision mandate and rigidity in current spatial structures and planning organisation. The second conceptual tool, urban ecologies, makes visible the urban landscape as layered complex productive material and discursive configurations. Urban ecologies can thereby be used as a tool to reveal how topographies, infrastructures and resources both enable and constrain transformation and change in society. The third conceptual tool, urban key projects, relates to situation-oriented interventions that combine resources from different urban ecologies in order to trigger local-regional transformation. The research demonstrates how the three conceptual tools together can support planning practice to implement material and discursive changes in order to break reproduction of spatial lock-ins and support re-negotiations of the urban landscape. This implies a process of reading and mapping material and discursive compositions, re-valuing and combining resources and potential related to the planning situation, problematizing ongoing transformation processes, formulating alternative directions of development and an incremental, coupled and long-term implementation. Hereby the developed theoretical and methodological framework can be used to open spatial lockins and expand local-regional acting space for planning practice.

architectural thinking

local-regional development

urban ecologies

urban landscapes.

design-based research

urban key projects

urban planning

urban design

Eko-salen, Eklandagatan 86, Göteborg
Opponent: Ellen Braae, Köpenhamns Universitet


Nils Björling

Chalmers, Arkitektur


Building Futures (2010-2018)


Annan samhällsbyggnadsteknik



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie

Eko-salen, Eklandagatan 86, Göteborg

Opponent: Ellen Braae, Köpenhamns Universitet

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