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  • 1.
    Chen, Tzu-Hsin Karen
    et al.
    School of the Environment, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.;Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.;Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.;Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), University of Copenhagen, København V, Denmark..
    Horsdal, Henriette Thisted
    Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;The National Centre for Register-based Research, Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark..
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain.
    Closter, Ane Marie
    Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;The National Centre for Register-based Research, Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark..
    Davies, Megan
    Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, København K, Denmark..
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Pedersen, Carsten Bøcker
    Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;The National Centre for Register-based Research, Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;Centre for Integrated Register-based Research (CIRRAU), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark..
    Prishchepov, Alexander V.
    Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), University of Copenhagen, København V, Denmark..
    Sabel, Clive E.
    Big Data Centre for Environment and Health (BERTHA), Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark.;Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark..
    Higher depression risks in medium- than in high-density urban form across Denmark2023In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 9, no 21, article id eadf3760Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban areas are associated with higher depression risks than rural areas. However, less is known about how different types of urban environments relate to depression risk. Here, we use satellite imagery and machine learning to quantify three-dimensional (3D) urban form (i.e., building density and height) over time. Combining satellite-derived urban form data and individual-level residential addresses, health, and socioeconomic registers, we conduct a case-control study (n = 75,650 cases and 756,500 controls) to examine the association between 3D urban form and depression in the Danish population. We find that living in dense inner-city areas did not carry the highest depression risks. Rather, after adjusting for socioeconomic factors, the highest risk was among sprawling suburbs, and the lowest was among multistory buildings with open space in the vicinity. The finding suggests that spatial land-use planning should prioritize securing access to open space in densely built areas to mitigate depression risks.

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  • 2. Chen, Tzu-Hsin Karen
    et al.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Thisted Horsdal, Henriette
    Davies, Megan
    Closter, Ane Marie
    Barthel, Stephan
    Böcker Pederson, Carsten
    Prishchepov, Alexander V.
    Sabel, Clive E.
    Three-dimensional urban structure and residential mobility correlate with the risk of developing mental disorders: a follow-up studyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Colding, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Supporting bottom-up human agency for adapting to climate change2020In: One Earth, ISSN 2590-3330, E-ISSN 2590-3322, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 392-395Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The metric focus of sustainability thinking is at risk of downplaying the role of climate-change adaptation as a strategy complementary to climate-change mitigation. The upcoming 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) needs to explore how adaptation based on human agency could contribute to dealing with climate change.

  • 4.
    Colding, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Marcus, Lars
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Gren, Åsa
    The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
    Legeby, Ann
    School of Architecture, KTH.
    Berghauser Pont, Meta
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    Frontiers in Social–Ecological Urbanism2022In: Land, E-ISSN 2073-445X, Vol. 11, no 6, article id 929Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes a new approach in urban ecological design, referred to as social- ecological urbanism (SEU). It draws from research in resilience thinking and space syntax in the analysis of relationships between urban processes and urban form at the microlevel of cities, where social and ecological services are directly experienced by urban dwellers. The paper elaborates on three types of media for urban designers to intervene in urban systems, including urban form, institutions, and discourse, that together function as a significant enabler of urban change. The paper ends by presenting four future research frontiers with a potential to advance the field of social-ecological urbanism: (1) urban density and critical biodiversity thresholds, (2) human and non-human movement in urban space, (3) the retrofitting of urban design, and (4) reversing the trend of urban ecological illiteracy through affordance designs that connect people with nature and with each other.

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  • 5.
    Colding, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Beijerinstitutet för Ekologisk Ekonomi, KVA.
    Wallhagen, Marita
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Marcus, Lars
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Hillman, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    Applying a Systems Perspective on the Notion of the Smart City2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 3, no 2, article id 22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on the need for a widened definition of the notion of technology within the smart city discourse, with a particular focus on the “built environment”. The first part of the paper describes how current tendencies in urban design and architecture are inclined to prioritize high tech-solutions at the expense of low-tech functionalities and omits that information and communication technology (ICT) contrasts the art of building cities as an adaptable and habitually smart technology in itself. It continues with an elaboration on the need for expanding the limits of system boundaries for a better understanding of the energy and material telecouplings that are linked to ICT solutions and account for some perils inherent in smart technologies, such as rebound effects and the difficulty of measuring the environmental impacts of ICT solutions on a city level. The second part of the paper highlights how low-tech technologies and nature-based solutions can make cities smarter, representing a new technology portfolio in national and international policies for safeguarding biodiversity and the delivery of a range of ecosystem services, promoting the necessary climate-change adaption that cities need to prioritize to confer resilience.

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  • 6.
    Fagerholm, Nora
    et al.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Eilola, Salla
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Giusti, Matteo
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Hasanzadeh, Kamyar
    University of Turku, Finland; Aalto University, Finland.
    Kajosaari, Anna
    Aalto University, Finland.
    Koch, Daniel
    KTH.
    Korpilo, Silviya
    University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Kyttä, Marketta
    Aalto University, Finland.
    Legeby, Ann
    KTH.
    Liu, Yu
    University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Præstholm, Søren
    University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Raymond, Christopher
    University of Helsinki, Finland; SLU.
    Rinne, Tiina
    Aalto University, Finland.
    Stahl Olafsson, Anton
    University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Analysis of pandemic outdoor recreation and green infrastructure in Nordic cities to enhance urban resilience2022In: npj Urban Sustainability, E-ISSN 2661-8001, Vol. 2, no 1, article id 25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent empirical research has confirmed the importance of green infrastructure and outdoor recreation to urban people’s well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only a few studies provide cross-city analyses. We analyse outdoor recreation behaviour across four Nordic cities ranging from metropolitan areas to a middle-sized city. We collected map-based survey data from residents (n = 469–4992) in spring 2020 and spatially analyse green infrastructure near mapped outdoor recreation sites and respondents’ places of residence. Our statistical examination reveals how the interplay among access to green infrastructure across cities and at respondents’ residential location, together with respondents’ socio-demographic profiles and lockdown policies or pandemic restrictions, affects outdoor recreation behaviour. The results highlight that for pandemic resilience, the history of Nordic spatial planning is important. To support well-being in exceptional situations as well as in the long term, green infrastructure planning should prioritise nature wedges in and close to cities and support small-scale green infrastructure.

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  • 7.
    Giusti, Matteo
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Evaluation of a smartphone-based methodology that integrates long-term tracking of mobility, place experiences, heart rate variability, and subjective well-being2023In: Heliyon, E-ISSN 2405-8440, Vol. 9, no 5, article id e15751Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study presents MyGävle, a smartphone application that merge long-term tracking of mobility data, heart rate variability and subjective and objective well-being records. Developed to address the challenges faced in researching healthy and sustainable lifestyles, this app serves as a pioneering implementation of Real-life Long-term Methodology (ReaLM). After eight months' use by 257 participants from Gävle (Sweden), we evaluate the completeness, accuracy, validity, and consistency of all data collected. MyGävle produced remarkable results as a ReaLM method. On average, it precisely tracked participants daily locations for approximately 8 h and accurately collected heart-rate variability values throughout the day (12 h) and night (6 h). Participants reported 5115 subjective place experiences (ranging from 160 to 120 per week) and seasonal participation, although declining, is accurate. Our findings indicate that the amount of data collected through smartphone sensors, fitness wristbands and in-app questionnaires is consistent enough to be leveraged for integrated assessments of habits, environmental exposure, and subjective and physiological well-being. Yet, considerable variation exists across individuals; thus diagnostic analysis must precede use of these datasets in any particular research endeavors. By doing so we can maximise the potential of ReaLM research to delve into real life conditions conducive to healthy living habits while also considering broader sustainability goals.

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  • 8.
    Giusti, Matteo
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    The regenerative compatibility: a synergy between healthy ecosystems, environmental attitudes, and restorative experiences2020In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 15, no 1, article id e0227311Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban nature is and will be the most common provider of nature interactions for humankind. The restorative benefits of nature exposure are renown and creating human habitats that simultaneously support people’s wellbeing and ecological sustainability is an urgent priority. In this study, we investigate how the relationship between environmental attitudes and healthy ecosystems influences restorative experiences combining a place-based online survey with geographical data on ecosystem health in Stockholm (Sweden). Using spatial regression, we predict the 544 restorative experiences (from 325 respondents), with people’s environmental attitudes, natural land covers, ecosystem health, and the statistical interactions among these variables as predictors. Our results show that restorative experiences can happen anywhere in the urban landscape, but when they occur in natural environments, the combined levels of biodiversity and ecological connectivity are better predicting factor than the mere presence of nature. That is, healthy ecosystems seem to be more important than just any nature for restorative experiences. Moreover, the statistical interaction between one’s environmental attitudes and natural environments predict almost all restorative experiences better than when these variables are independent predictors. This suggests that there is synergistic compatibility between environmental attitudes and healthy ecosystems that triggers restorative processes. We call this synergy regenerative compatibility. Regenerative compatibility is an unexploited potential that emerges when people’s attitudes and ecosystems are aligned in sustainability. We consider regenerative compatibility a valuable leverage point to transform towards ecologically sustainable and healthy urban systems. To this end, we encourage multifaceted policy interventions that regenerate human-nature relationships holistically rather than implement atomistic solutions.

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  • 9.
    Gullberg, Ylva
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Brandt, S. Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Sciences.
    Key perceptions associated with attitudes towards water reuse in a Swedish town2023In: Water Reuse, ISSN 2709-6092, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 507-524Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As climate change and urbanization affect current water management systems, new solutions and approaches rooted in public acceptance are needed to ensure future water supply. In this study, we examine public attitudes to reuse of recycled water and associated worldviews, values, and perceptions in a site without historical water issues. A survey of 143 randomly sampled residents in the municipality of the growing Swedish town Knivsta revealed that 81.4% of the respondents had a positive attitude towards using recycled water in general. The results did not indicate any differences in attitudes between those living in and outside the municipality's urban areas. Perceived benefits and risks were found to be significantly related to both attitudes towards using recycled water in general and to the extreme case of using it for drinking purposes. Additionally, trust in public authorities was highly predictive of attitudes towards drinking recycled water. Furthermore, attitudes were found to be related to an environmental worldview and underlying biospheric, altruistic, and hedonic values. This indicates a need to consider the intended purpose as well as engaging with underlying values as part of the technology legitimation process for improving the chances of successful implementation of water recycling technologies.

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  • 10.
    Linder, Noah
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Giusti, Matteo
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Pro-environmental habits: An underexplored research agenda in sustainability science2022In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 51, p. 546-556Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Habits are the fundamental basis for many of our daily actions and can be powerful barriers to behavioural change. Still, habits are not included in most narratives, theories, and interventions applied to sustainable behaviour. One reason societies struggle to reach policy goals and people fail to change towards more pro-environmental lifestyles might be that many behaviours are now bound by strong habits that override knowledge and intentions to act. In this perspective article, we provide three arguments for why pro-environmental habits are a needed research agenda in sustainability science: (1) habit theory highlights how behaviour is heavily reliant on automatic processes, (2) the environmental context sets boundary conditions for behaviour, shape habits, and cues action responses, and (3) our habits and past behaviour shape our values and self-identity. These arguments highlight the transformative potential of looking at sustainable behaviours through a habit lens. We believe a research agenda on pro-environmental habits could generate a more holistic understanding of sustainable behaviours and complement today's dominating approaches which emphasize reasoned decisions and intrinsic motivations such as values, norms, and intentions to understand and predict pro-environmental behaviour. We highlight evident knowledge gaps and practical benefits of considering habit theory to promote pro-environmental behaviours, and how habit architecture could be utilized as a strong leverage point when designing, modifying, and building urban environments.

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  • 11.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Making space for resilient urban well-being2021Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis addresses the need for urban landscapes that provide resilient contributions to inhabitants’ well-being while also limiting impacts on the Earth system. It aims to (1) advance a nuanced understanding of how urban environments relate to urban dwellers’ well-being, and (2) formulate guidelines for planning that supports urban dwellers’ well-being and align with global sustainability. The thesis consists of five empirical studies of Swedish and Danish urban landscapes in which day-to-day experiences and mental disorders were studied as different components of well-being. A variety of spatial and statistical analysis methods were leveraged, including public participation geographic information systems, remote sensing, deep learning, accessibility analysis, and spatial regression.

    Results convey that urban environments relate to well-being in substantial ways, but these map poorly onto the simplistic urban-nature or urban-rural dichotomies that dominate current discourse. Support of well-being instead seems to depend on spatial conditions comprised of the street network’s topological configuration, the population distribution, and the accessibility of natural settings. Since the 1990s, contrasts have intensified between stressful urban cores that are increasingly full of people and peripheral areas that are “left behind” and high-risk in terms of mental illness. Results show that urban neighbourhoods could contribute to well-being through fulfilment of three guidelines: (1) a balance of residential and daytime populations, (2) no extreme concentration of movement, and (3) accessible natural settings. Strategies in accordance with the guidelines can increase so-called topodiversity, which refers to variation in spatial conditions across an urban landscape that permits support of well-being through different pathways. Increasing topodiversity in both central and peripheral areas

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  • 12.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Spatial analyses of people's experiences in urban landscapes2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Limiting cities’ negative impact for global sustainability suggests compact city development. However, extensive and accessible urban nature is important for urban dwellers’ wellbeing. Aligning efforts to make cities locally and globally sustainable means resolving this conflict.

    This thesis applies spatial analysis of urban dwellers’ regularly occurring experiences, as these are important wellbeing indicators, looking specifically at Stockholm, Sweden. The aim is to contribute to a nuanced understanding of urban environments’ influence on urban dwellers’ experiences. Paper I investigates how accessibility to various environment features impact the probability that people have positive or negative experiences. Paper II applies resilience principles to investigate what experiences exist together in neighbourhoods.

    The environment have considerable influence on people’s experiences. Some common indicators in urban planning display weak relationships with experiential outcome, while other less common ones have larger effects. Neighbourhood compositions of experiences display consistent patterns, both spatially across Stockholm and with respect to resilience principles. Many neighbourhoods harbour diverse positive experiences, while a few are dominated by negative ones.

    The results suggest that human-environment relations should be given more consideration in urban discourse and urban planning. A relational approach could improve urban dweller’s experiences, and positively influence their wellbeing. For urban planning to be able to handle the complexity of such an approach, I suggest that resilience principles can be heuristics for an urban development that does not compromise people’s experiences. The methodological framework developed here can be applied in other cities, as it can identify specific places for transformation, but also increase knowledge of the interplay between urban environments and people’s experiences across different contexts.

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  • 13.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    The Topodiverse City: Urban Form for Subjective Well-Being2021In: Frontiers in Built Environment, E-ISSN 2297-3362, Vol. 7, article id 735221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research is now better than ever able to unveil how urban inhabitants’ movement, behavior and experiences relate to the urban forms in which they take place. Consequently, urban form might increasingly be able to function as a focal point for different strands of research that focus on sustainable urban life, and as a link between research and planning practice through the development of empirically informed design principles. Drawing on literature from urban morphology, complex systems analysis, environmental psychology, and neuroscience, I provide a wide-angle view of how urban form relates to subjective well-being through movement, social and economic activity, experiences and psychological restoration. I propose three principles for urban form that could promote subjective well-being while also mitigating the environmental impact of cities in industrialized societies. The principles revolve around so-called topodiversity, meaning variation across an urban area in spatial conditions that allows subjective well-being to be promoted through several different pathways. The principles together suggest an urban form that I call the topodiverse city. The topodiverse city displays a polycentric structure and is more spatially contained than the sprawling city, yet not as compact as the dense city. I also propose indicators to measure the principles using mostly openly available data and analysis methods, to further research on how urban form can enable urban subjective well-being with low environmental impact.

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  • 14.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering.
    Social-ekologisk stadsbyggnad: perspektiv på urban resiliens och hållbar utveckling2016Report (Other academic)
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  • 15.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Colding, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholms Universitet.
    Macassa, Gloria
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Public Health and Sport Science, Public Health Science.
    Giusti, Matteo
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Urban nature as a source of resilience during social distancing amidst the coronavirus pandemic.2020Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The 2020 coronavirus pandemic caused countries across the world to implement measures of socialdistancing to curb spreading of COVID-19. The large and sudden disruptions to everyday life thatresult from this are likely to impact well-being, particularly among urban populations that live indense settings with limited public space. In this paper, we argue that during these extraordinarycircumstances, urban nature offers resilience for maintaining well-being in urban populations, whileenabling social distancing. We discuss more generally the critical role of urban nature in times ofcrisis. Cities around the world need to take the step into the 21st century by accepting crises as anew reality and finding ways to function during these disturbances. Thus, maintaining or increasingspace for nature in cities and keeping it accessible to the public should be part of the sustainabilityagenda, aiming simultaneously to strive towards SDG 3 (good health and well-being), and SDG 11(sustainable and resilient cities).

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  • 16.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Giusti, Matteo
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Univ Gavle, Dept Bldg Engn Energy Syst & Sustainabil Sci, Gavle, Sweden..
    Hartig, Terry
    Uppsala universitet.
    Visiting nearby natural settings supported wellbeing during Sweden's "soft-touch" pandemic restrictions2021In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 214, article id 104176Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The coronavirus pandemic entailed varying restrictions on access, movement and social behavior in populations around the world. Knowledge about how people coped with "soft-touch" restrictions can inform urban spatial planning strategies that enhance resilience against future pandemics. We analyzed data from an online place based survey on 2845 places across Sweden that respondents abstained from visiting, visited with similar frequency, or visited more frequently in spring 2020 as compared to before the pandemic. In spatial logistic regression models, we relate geographical and sociodemographic properties of places (fields, forests, water, residential population density and daytime population density) to self-perceived changes in wellbeing from visiting the given place less or more often, respectively. Abstaining from visiting places with natural features located in areas of high residential density was associated with a self-perceived negative influence on wellbeing. Yet, fields, forests and water were strongly associated with places people claimed wellbeing benefits from during pandemic restrictions. The further a visited place was from the respondent's home, the more likely it was to have a positive wellbeing influence. As an illustrative case, we map our models onto the landscape of Stockholm, showing that some neighborhoods are likely more resilient than others when coping with pandemic restrictions. Both the most and least resilient neighborhoods span the socio-economic spectrum. Urban planning will do well to enable equitable, easy access to natural settings by foot or bike, to increase pandemic preparedness as well as support climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection.

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  • 17.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Brandt, S. Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Sciences.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Linder, Noah
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Lim, Nancy Joy
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Sciences.
    Giusti, Matteo
    Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Diverse experiences by active travel: Longitudinal study reveals a persistent discrepancy across residential contexts2023Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To inform spatial planning promoting low-carbon travel and well-being, we investigate the potential for experiential diversity by active travel across different residential contexts. We use spatiotemporal tracking and experience data from the Gävle city-region, Sweden, generated by 165 participants over the course of 15 months. Findings reveal a discrepancy between typical travel distances to locations of positive experiences (1.5–5 km) and the distances at which active travel dominates (up to 1.5 km). This discrepancy largely persists across urban, suburban, and peripheral contexts, with urban dwellers travelling further for nature experiences, whereas peripheral dwellers travel further for urbanicity experiences. These results illustrate the importance of spatial scale for promoting diverse positive experiences by active travel, regardless of residential context. Planning strategies include enhancing environmental diversity close to people’s homes and providing infrastructure that promotes switching from motorised to active travel for trips of a few kilometres.

  • 18.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Chen, Tzu-Hsin Karen
    Aarhus University, Denmark.
    Antonsen, Sussie
    Aarhus University, Denmark.
    Brandt, S. Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Sciences.
    Sabel, Clive
    Aarhus University, Denmark.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    Residential environments across Denmark have become both denser and greener over 20 years2021In: Environmental Research Letters, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 16, no 1, article id 014022Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite much attention in the literature, knowledge about the dynamics surrounding urban densification and urban greening is still in dire need for architects, urban planners and scientists that strive to design, develop, and regenerate sustainable and resilient urban environments. Here, we investigate countrywide patterns of changes in residential density and residential nature at high spatial resolution over a time period of >20 years (1995-2016), combining a dataset of address-level population data covering all of Denmark (>2 million address points) with satellite image-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. Our results show that many residential environments across Denmark have witnessed simultaneous densification and greening since the mid-1990s. In fact, the most common change within 500 metre neighbourhoods around individual address points is of joint increases in population and NDVI (28%), followed by increasing NDVI with stable population figures (21%). In contrast, only 8% of neighbourhoods around address points have seen a decline in either population or NDVI. Results were similar in low- middle- and high-density environments, suggesting that trends were driven by climate change but also to some degree enabled by urban planning policies that seek to increase rather than decrease nature in the cities.

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  • 19.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Colding, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Urban resilience at eye level: spatial analysis of empirically defined experiential landscapes2019In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 187, p. 70-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An unresolved issue in creating resilient cities is how to obtain sustainability benefits from densification while not eroding the capacity of social-ecological systems to generate wellbeing for urban dwellers. To understand how different relationships between urban form and wellbeing together play out, we analysed geocoded experiential data (1460 experiences from 780 respondents) together with variables of the physical environment. Through statistical and spatial analysis, we operationalised resilience principles to assess what urban environments provide “resilience at eye level” – a diversity of experiences and a level of connectivity between them that limit adverse outcomes. We found 8 typologies of experiential landscapes – distinct compositions of 11 categories of experiences. Our analysis shows that typologies with experiences supportive of wellbeing are diverse and exist in environments that balance residents and workplaces, avoid extreme spatial integration and/or density and have accessible nature. Typologies with many experiences hindering wellbeing fail in one or several of these respects. Our findings suggest that resilience principles can act as a guiding heuristic for urban densification that does not compromise human wellbeing.

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    fulltext
  • 20.
    Samuelsson, Karl
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering.
    Giusti, Matteo
    Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Peterson, Garry D.
    Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Legeby, Ann
    School of Architecture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Brandt, S. Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Land management, GIS.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Impact of environment on people’s everyday experiences in Stockholm2018In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 171, p. 7-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to construct urban environments that limit negative impacts for global sustainability while supporting human wellbeing, there is a need to better understand how features of the environment influence people’s everyday experiences. We present a novel method for studying this combining accessibility analysis and public participatory GIS (PPGIS). Seven environment features are defined and accessibility to them analysed across Stockholm municipality. We estimate the probabilities of positive and negative experiences in places based on these environment features, by using spatial regression to extrapolate from the results of an online PPGIS survey (1784 experiences of 1032 respondents). Six of the seven studied environment features have significant impact on experiential outcome, after accounting for spatial autocorrelation among the data. The results show that number of residents and proximity of nature environments and water, all common quality indicators in urban planning and research, have weak statistically significant effects on people’s experiences. However, areas dominated by large working populations or proximity to major roads have very low rates of positive experiences, while areas with high natural temperature regulating capacities have very high rates, showing that there are considerable qualitative differences within urban environments as well as nature environments. Current urban planning practices need to acknowledge these differences to limit impacts on the biosphere while promoting human wellbeing. We suggest that a good way to start addressing this is through transformation of negatively experienced urban areas through designs that integrate closeness to urbanity with possibilities to have nature experiences on a daily basis. 

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