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Personal profile


Christine Wamsler's research interests are in sustainable city development, and focus on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, resilience and (inner-outer) transformations. Global trends such as climate change, the ways in which power emerges and consolidates, and the causes and consequences of the unequal distribution of risk, are central to understanding urban challenges. At the same time, cities have the potential to enhance opportunities for their citizens.

Christine Wamsler’s work examines, amongst other things, how cities can meet disaster and climate change challenges by analyzing (a) the reciprocal relationship between urban development and risk, (b) ways as to how risk reduction and adaptation can be sustainably integrated in urban planning and governance, and (c) exploring the role of contemplative approaches to support sustainable outcomes at all scales, from the individual to the global. In addition, Christine Wamsler has been carrying out research on the role that urban policies and planning can have in mitigating both the spread, and the effects, of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Christine Wamsler's research projects include:

  1. Mind4Change- full project title: Agents of change: Mind, cognitive bias and decision-making in a context of social and climate change, 2020–2024, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project website).
  2. TransVision- full project title: Transition Visions: Coupling society, well-being and energy systems for transtioning to a fossil-free society, 2020–2024, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project website).
  3. ActivateChange- full project title: Activating transformation: Meeting the climate change crisis inside-out, 2020–2021, financed by Emergence Foundation (see project website).
  4. Transist- From everyday forms of resistance to transformational climate change adaptation of the urban poor, 2020–2023, in collaboration with York University, project financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) (see project website).
  5. The Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program- The role of individual inner dimensions and transformation in sustainability, ongoing program since 2015 (see program website).
  6. Naturvation: Nature-based urban innovations, 2016-2020, Horizon 2020 project financed by the Euopean Commission (see project website).
  7. Inclusive resilience-buildingto floods in informal settlements (focus: Kibera, Nairobi), 2017-2020, financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) (see project website).
  8. Sustainable urban transformationfor climate change adaptation, 2012–2019, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project website).
  9. City-to-city learninglab on nature-based planning and adaptation (focus: Sweden), 2018–2019, financed by Mistra Urban Futures (see project website).
  10. Strategies for disaster risk reduction and resiliencein Sweden (in line with the global Sendai Framework and Agenda 2030), 2018–2019, financed by MSB (Swedish Contingency Agency) (see project website).
  11. GLOCULL - Sustainable food-water-energy innovation in Urban Living Labs, 2018-2021, JPI Urban Europe, The Knowledge Hub for Urban Transitions (see LUCSUS website; see project coordinator website).
  12. BInUCom - Erasmus+ capacity building project on ‘Building Inclusive Urban Communities’ (focus: India), 2015–2019, financed by the EU (see project website).
  13. ECOSIMP - Urban ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, 2013–2017, financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SEPA (see project website).
  14. EDUCEN - European disasters in urban centers: the role of culture in disaster management and risk, since 2015, financed by the EU (see project website). Member of the Advisory Board.
  15. WASH & RESCUE- Reducing water-related risks in cities, 2014–15, financed by Stockholm Environment Institute SEI (see project website).
  16. Climate change adaptation and empowerment, 2016-2017, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  17. Ecosystem-based adaptationand (urban) transformation, 2015-2016, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  18. Ecosystem-based adaptationin urban environments, 2014-2015, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  19. Cities, disaster risk and adaptation, 2012–2014, supported and financed  by Resilient Regions Association and Routledge (see related website).


Christine Wamsler is supervising and mentoring PhD students and post-docs at the Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability (LUCID), the International Institute of Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), the Centre for Natural Disaster Science (CNDS) at Uppsala University, the Centre for Urban Ecology and Climate Adaptation (ZSK), and the Department of Strategic Landscape Planning and Management at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Furthermore, Christine Wamsler is course coordinator and teacher in the context of different Master programmes:

  • Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES) at LUCSUS, Lund University;
  • Master Programme in Applied Climate Change Strategies at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC), Lund University;
  • Master in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, Societal Resilience Centre and Department of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Lund University; and
  • The Master of Disaster Management Programme (MDMa) at Copenhagen University, Denmark.

Topics taught include sustainability and inner transformation, sustainable city development; disaster risk management; urban risk reduction; climate change adaptation; post-disaster recovery; and mindfulness in sustainability science, practice and teaching. Christine Wamsler is a member of The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and was awarded Excellent Teaching Pratitioner by the Lund University Teaching Academy.


Christine Wamsler's research projects are transdisciplinary, are carried out in close cooperation with different stakeholders, mainly local and regional authorities and urban residents, and are designed to influence related policies and practice. To reach different stakeholder groups, Christine has authored a wide range of different publications, including scientific and professional journal articles, book chapters, working papers, policy briefs, operational frameworks and guidelines (see below). She is further an active member in numerous scientific committees, expert panels and reference groups (e.g. for the British Academy, UK’s Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC], the Department of International Development [DFID], the European Commission, NordForsk, SEI, I-Rec, ProVention Consortium, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), JPI Climate, Red Cross) and works as editorial board member or reviewer for various international journals (e.g. Sustainability Science, Disasters, Ecology and Society, Global Environmental Change) and publishing houses (e.g. Routledge, Elsevier, Oxford University Press).

Recent popular articles about Christine Wamsler's work can be found about: her research and professorship in general (click here), her work on inclusive urban planning (click here and here), urban nature-based innovations (click here and here), climate change adaptation and education (click here, p.23), ecosystem-based adaptation (click ), climate policy integration/ mainstreaming (click here and here) and the mindfulness-sustainability nexus (click here and here). Her work has also been featured in Swedish Newspapers (Sydsvenskan, 14/04/2015), different professional networks and newsletters (e.g. PEDRR-Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction-Newsletter, issues 158, 165, 166, IIASA's Opinions Magazine, The Inflection Journal, etc.), radio interviews (e.g. Radio National Australia, click here), as well as online lectures (on youtube, click here) and related interviews (at Melbourne University: click here, and Lund University: click here).

Professional work

Christine Wamsler  is an expert in sustainable city development with focus on integrated disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, climate policy mainstreaming, urban resilience and transformation. She is Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), director of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, a Mind & Life Fellow, Research Fellow at the Centre of Natural Disaster Science (CNDS), Associate of Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM), Honorary Research Fellow of the Global Urbanism Research Group, Global Development Institute (GDI) of the University of Manchester, and former Co-director of the Centre for Societal Resilience and Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Christine Wamsler is also part of the personnel pool of risk reduction experts of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). In addition, Christine Wamsler is working as a consultant for different organizations, such as the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German, Austrian and Belgium Red Cross, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swedish Organization for Individual Relief (SOIR/IM) and various local NGOs. Places where she has worked and conducted research include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, India, Kosovo, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo and the United Kingdom.

Christine Wamsler has 20 years of experience working in risk reduction and climate adaptation, both in theory and practice. She has led many (inter)national projects and has published more than 100 academic papers, popular scientific articles, guidelines, book chapters and books, including her internationally-recognised book titled “Cities, Disaster Risk and Adaptation”, pubslished by Routledge.

Christine Wamsler holds a PhD on Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and a postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in Sustainability Science (Lund University, Sweden). Her Master’s degree is in International Humanitarian Assistance (University of Bochum, Germany), and post-graduate training includes Project Evaluation (University of the Saarland, Germany), Emergency Management (Charles Sturt University, Australia), and Local and Community Level Disaster Risk Management (International Disaster Risk Management Centre IDRM, the Philippines). Christine Wamsler is further trained as an Architect and Urban Planner, with specialization in International Urban Development Planning (University of Stuttgart, Germany & Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Belleville, France).

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Sustainable cities
  • climate change adaptation
  • climate policy mainstreaming
  • climate policy integration
  • disaster risk reduction
  • disaster management
  • urban governance and planning
  • urban resilience
  • urban transformation
  • inner transformation
  • inner transition
  • sustainability and wellbeing
  • city-citizen collaboration
  • collaborative governance


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