Through internet and friends: Translation of air pollution research in Malmö municipality, Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Air pollution is estimated to cause more than 7000 deaths annually in Sweden alone. To reduce the impact of air pollution and to plan and build sustainable cities, it is vital that research is translated into efficient decisions and practice. However, how do civil servants in a municipality access research results? How do they normally find relevant information, and what obstacles are there to accessing and applying research results? As part of the collaborative and transdisciplinary research project Air Pollution Research in Local Environmental Planning (ARIEL), these questions were explored through interviews and seminars with civil servants within the Malmö Municipality Environmental Office. We found that the civil servants generally have proficiency in processing research results, but often do not use such results as part of their everyday decision making and practices. Instead, the data and measurements used are mostly produced case-by-case within the municipal sector itself. Information about best practices is also collected via a number of knowledge access practices, involving the Internet or social networks within other municipalities. Lack of time, paywalls, and the insufficient applicability of research hinder the dissemination of up-to-date results. This slows down the process whereby research, funded by tax-money, can be put to best practice in the effort to create healthy and sustainable cities.


External organisations
  • Malmö University
  • Umeå University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Air pollution abatement, Collaborative research, Knowledge access practices, Municipal civil servants, Public health, Research knowledge translation, Sustainable urban development, Sustainable urban planning
Original languageEnglish
Article number4214
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch