Personal profile


Christine Wamsler is Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Founder of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, a Mind & Life Fellow, an Honorary Fellow of the Global Urbanism Research Group at the Global Development Institute (GDI) and former Co-Director of the Societal Resilience Centre. She is an internationally-renowned expert in sustainable development, climate change action, resilience and associated (material and cognitive) transformation processes, with 25 years of experience, both in theory and practice.

Global trends such as climate change and mental ill-health, the ways in which power emerges and consolidates, and the causes and consequences of the unequal distribution of vulnerabilities and risk, are central to understanding urban challenges. At the same time, cities have the potential to enhance opportunities for their citizens and support individual and collective agency. Against this background, Christine Wamsler’s work examines, amongst other things, how cities can meet sustainability challenges by analyzing (a) the reciprocal relationship between urban development and risk, (b) how risk and vulnerability reduction can be sustainably integrated in urban planning and governance, and (c) exploring the role of contemplative approaches to support sustainability across individual, collective and system levels. In addition, Christine has been carrying out research on the role that urban policies and planning can have in mitigating both the spread, and the effects, of pandemics.

Christine Wamsler's research and collaboration projects include:

  1. The Existential Resilience Collaboration Initiative ERiCi - Exploring the role of contemplation, aesthetics and compassion to counter stress, fragmentation and the loss of meaning that underlie today’s societal crises, 2023-2025, financed by LU (see here; LU website under construction).
  2. Relentless Existential Thread - Exploring existential thread for improving sustainability planning and decision-taking, 2023-2024, theme financed by the Pufendorf Institute of Advanced Studies (see project website)
  3. The Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program - The role of individual inner dimensions and transformation in sustainability, ongoing program since 2015 (see program websites here and here).
  4. Global Leadership for Sustainable Development - The role of Inner Development Goals (IDGs) for accelerating change, 2022-2024, financed by the IDG Initiative and the Templeton Foundation (more information here).
  5. 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 websites here and here).
  6. TransVision - Full project title: Transition Visions: Coupling society, well-being and energy systems for transitioning to a fossil-free society, 2020–2024, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project websites here and here).
  7. ActivateChange - Full project title: Activating transformation: Meeting the climate change crisis inside-out, 2020–2023, financed by Emergence Foundation (see project websites here and here).
  8. 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).
  9. Naturvation: Nature-based urban innovations, 2016-2020, Horizon 2020 project financed by the European Commission (see project website).
  10. Inclusive resilience-building to floods in informal settlements (focus: Kibera, Nairobi), 2017-2020, financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) (see project website).
  11. Sustainable urban transformation for climate change adaptation, 2012–2019, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project website).
  12. City-to-city learning lab on nature-based planning and adaptation (focus: Sweden), 2018–2019, financed by Mistra Urban Futures (see project website).
  13. Strategies for disaster risk reduction and resilience in Sweden (in line with the global Sendai Framework and Agenda 2030), 2018–2019, financed by MSB (Swedish Contingency Agency) (see project website).
  14. GLOCULL - Sustainable food-water-energy innovation in Urban Living Labs, 2018-2022, JPI Urban Europe, The Knowledge Hub for Urban Transitions (see LUCSUS website; see project coordinator website).
  15. BInUCom - Erasmus+ capacity building project on ‘Building Inclusive Urban Communities’ (focus: India), 2015–2019, financed by the EU (see project website).
  16. ECOSIMP - Urban ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, 2013–2017, financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SEPA (see project website).
  17. 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.
  18. WASH & RESCUE - Reducing water-related risks in cities, 2014–15, financed by Stockholm Environment Institute SEI (see project website).
  19. Climate change adaptation and empowerment, 2016-2017, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  20. Ecosystem-based adaptation and (urban) transformation, 2015-2016, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  21. Ecosystem-based adaptation in urban environments, 2014-2015, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  22. 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 LUCSUS, 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 and undergraduate programs:

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

Topics taught include sustainability and inner transformation, psychology and climate change, sustainable city development; disaster risk management; urban risk reduction; climate change adaptation; post-disaster recovery; contemplation, compassion and mindfulness in sustainability science, practice and teaching. Christine Wamsler has been awarded the honor of being made a Mind & Life Fellow. She is a member of The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, and has been promoted to the position of Excellent Teaching Pratitioner (ETP) at Lund University.


Christine Wamsler's research projects are both inter and transdisciplinary; they 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). Furthermore, she is an active member of numerous scientific committees, expert panels and reference groups (e.g. for the United Nations Development Program UNDP, 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, The Inner Green Deal). Christine also acts as an editor, editorial board member or reviewer for various international journals (e.g. Sustainability Science, Disasters, Ecology and Society, Global Environmental Change, GAIA) and publishing houses (e.g. Routledge, Elsevier, Oxford University Press).

Recent popular articles, podcasts and videos about Christine Wamsler's work can be found here. Further popular articles focus on: 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 here), 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 (Svenska Dagbladet, Sydsvenskan), 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 development, sustainable cities, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, climate policy mainstreaming, resilience and associated (cognitive and material) transformation processes. She is Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), founder and director of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, a Mind & Life Fellow, a Research Fellow at the Centre of Natural Disaster Science (CNDS), an Associate of Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM), an 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 pool of risk reduction experts that provides advice to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). In addition, she is working as a consultant for different organizations, such as the UNDP, 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 25 years of experience working in the field of sustainability, both in theory and practice. She has led many (inter)national projects and has published more than 200 academic papers, popular scientific articles, guidelines, book chapters and books, including her internationally-recognised book titled “Cities, Disaster Risk and Adaptation”, published by Routledge.

Christine holds a PhD on Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and is a qualified postdoctoral lecturer (Habilitation) in Sustainability Science (Lund University, Sweden). Her Master’s degree is in International Humanitarian Assistance (University of Bochum, Germany), and her 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). She is also a trained Architect and Urban Planner, with a specialization in International Urban Development Planning (University of Stuttgart, Germany & the Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Belleville, France).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • 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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Collaborations the last five years

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