CARESCAPE OF BLUE-GREEN SOLUTIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE: Exploring the socio-materiality of a landscape technology

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This research explores how blue-green solutions (BGS) take part in various everyday situations in the Augustenborg neighborhood of Malmö, Sweden, where BGS were introduced over twenty years ago to control urban flooding. The research applies a relational perspective, looking at everyday life as something that is contextually formed and given meaning in relation to the socio-materiality of the environment. The thesis employs a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach to answer: What aspects seem to matter in an environment with BGS, and how are they spatially situated in everyday life? How can the co-effects of BGS as technical artifacts be studied in relation to their temporality? How can everyday users’ expectations and concerns be considered in the design process of BGS? The research argues that the concept of resilience is inadequate in responding to the evolving challenges of urban areas, as situations before and after flooding are never the same. Instead, the thesis emphasizes the necessity of these environments to be responsive to the diverse needs of everyday life situations, including flooding. The study avoids looking at BGS as isolated artifacts in the urban landscape and, inspired by both actor-network theory (ANT) and affordance theory, it tries to explain the relationships between people and BGS through the lens of matters of concern and care. In this work, the interaction between blue-green infrastructure and society is understood from an urban design perspective and, as a spatiotemporal study of matters of care, the obtained knowledge also adds to science and technology studies (STS). The study shows a connection between the affordances in the environment and the accumulation of concerns developed over time. The link establishes complex relations in everyday life and influences various aspects of the socio-materiality of the environment. The results also show that the performances and possibilities of the environment are different and do not necessarily convert to one other. However, they are interrelated, and their interaction is temporal and contextual, and this affects the use of the BGS. The thesis argues that utilizing the perspective of care can help to acknowledge overlooked entities in the development of blue-green infrastructure. The thesis confirms that despite generating potential conflicts of interest, BGS can largely facilitate cohabitation between human and nonhuman creatures. This requires extra care and consideration in design to enhance the co-benefits and plays an important role in making the environment responsive to the ecological and social aspects of urban open space. In addition, the thesis highlights the importance of evaluating and refining typologies and conventional design methods for environments with BGS, and the need for continuous evaluation and adaptation of the space to maximize its response to the users.
Original languageEnglish
  • Kärrholm, Mattias, Supervisor
  • Sternudd, Catharina, Assistant supervisor
  • Jönsson, Karin, Assistant supervisor
  • Aspegren, Henrik, Assistant supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date2023 Nov 10
Place of PublicationLund
ISBN (Print)978-91-7740-135-3
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-7740-136-0
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 17

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2023-11-10
Time: 13:00
Place: Lecture Hall A: B, Building A, Sölvegatan 24, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, Lund.
External reviewer(s)
Name: Cele, Sofia
Title: Assoc. Prof.
Affiliation: Uppsala University, Sweden.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Architecture
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Human Geography

Free keywords

  • affordance
  • blue-green solutions
  • everyday life
  • human-nonhuman
  • matters of care
  • multifunctionality
  • nature-based solutions
  • neighborhood
  • rhythm
  • urban design
  • urban open space
  • temporality
  • socio-ecological urbanism
  • STS
  • water


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