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Helena Hanson

My interest is in sustainable urban development, with a focus on nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and human well-being. I have a PhD in environmental science with a thesis about natural enemies in the agricultural landscape and their contributions to the ecosystem service biological pest control. After my dissertation in May 2015 I worked one year at the planning department in the city of Malmö in a project focusing on the integration of the ecosystem service concept in urban planning, financed by BOVERKET. This opportunity facilitated networking outside academia and contributed to an increased knowledge base and new research questions.

Cities face big challenges due to climate change and an increased urbanisation. Heavier, longer and more frequently occurring cloud bursts and heat waves are expected to increase the risks of flooding’s and heat problems. Concurrently, urbanisation cause land exploitation for property development, with increased soil sealing and potentially a decline in urban green space, which may enhance the effect of climate change and reduce human well-being. Technical solutions generally dominate the urban arena to handle urban challenges, such as storm water, but recently nature-based solutions have been promoted as a sustainable way to address such challenges while contributing to economic activities and social well-being. Nature-based solutions can be seen as an umbrella term for the family of related ideas that capture the distinct contributions that natural systems provide: ecosystem services, green-blue infrastructure, and urban green space.

Current projects (NATURVATION and Formas Urban) focus on advancing assessment approaches for mapping and evaluating the multi-functional impacts of nature-based solutions to create a robust evidence base and tools for decision-making. The research is done in close collaboration with stakeholders with an extensive practical expertise in urban planning and management, enabling an exchange in knowledge, methods and tools across the disciplines and thereby increasing the potential of delivering research applicable for decision-making.    


Helena Hanson
E-mail: helena.hanson [at]


Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 02 02

Ekologihuset, Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC

Sölvegatan 37
223 62 Lund, Sweden

Visiting address
The Ecology building, Sölvegatan 37, Lund