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Christine Wamsler


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Personlig profil



Christine is an expert in sustainable urban development with focus on integral climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction/ management, climate policy mainstreaming, resilience and transformation. She is is Professor in Sustainability Science at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), former Co-director of the Lund University Centre for Societal Resilience, Research Fellow at the Centre of Natural Disaster Science (CNDS), and Honorary Research Fellow of the Global Urbanism Research Group at the Global Development Institute (GDI) of the University of Manchester, UK. Christine is also part of the personnel pool of risk reduction experts of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). In addition, Christine has been 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 UK.

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

Christine is trained as an Architect and Urban Planner, with specialization in International Urban Development Planning (University of Stuttgart, Germany & Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Belleville, France). She holds a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Assistance (University of Bochum, Germany), a PhD on Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and a postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in Sustainability Science (Lund University, Sweden). 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’s research interests are in sustainable and integral 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’s work examines 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 development practice and, in this context, (c) exploring the role of mindful/compassionate responses to climate change. 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 the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Christine’s research projects  include:

  1. Sustainable urban transformation for climate change adaptation, 2012–2019, financed by The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (see project website).
  2. City-to-city learning lab on ecosystem-based planning and adaptation, 2018–2019, financed by Mistra Urban Futures (see project website).
  3. Urban ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (ECOSIMP), 2013–2017, financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SEPA (see project website).
  4. Mindfulness in sustainability science, practice and teaching (focus: risk reduction and adaptation planning to foster sustainable transformation), since 2015 (see project website).
  5. Inclusive resilience-building to floods in informal settlements (focus: Kibera, Nairobi), 2017-2019, financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) (see project website).
  6. Erasmus+ capacity building project on ‘Building Inclusive Urban Communities’ (BInUCom), 2015–2019, financed by the EU (see project website).
  7. Nature-based urban innovations (NATURVATION), 2016-2020, financed by the Euopean Commission (see project website).
  8. European disasters in urban centers: the role of culture in disaster management and risk (EDUCEN), since 2015, financed by the EU (see project website). Member of the Advisory Board.
  9. Reducing water-related risks in cities (WASH & RESCUE), 2014–15, financed by Stockholm Environment Institute SEI (see project website).
  10. Climate change adaptation and empowerment, 2016-2017, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  11. Ecosystem-based adaptation and (urban) transformation, 2015-2016, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  12. Ecosystem-based adaptation in urban environments, 2014-2015, joint cooperation and research project with Leuphana University, Germany (Faculty of Sustainability).
  13. Cities, disaster risk and adaptation, 2012–2014, supported and financed  by Resilient Regions Association and Routledge (see related webiste).


Christine is supervising and mentoring PhD students at the Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability (LUCID), the Centre for Natural Disaster Science (CNDS) at Uppsala University, and the Department of Strategic Landscape Planning and Management at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Furthermore, Christine 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 sustainable city development; disaster risk management; urban risk reduction; climate change adaptation; post-disaster recovery; and mindfulness in sustainability science, practice and teaching. Christine is a member of The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.


Christine’s research projects (see above) are transdisciplinary, are carried out in close cooperation with different stakeholders, mainly city 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).

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier


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