In August two new PhD-students started working at SpaceLab: Jakob Grandin and Kristin Edith Abrahamsen Kjærås. Their PhDs are funded through the project European Cities as Actors in Climate and Energy Transformation, funded by BFS (Bergen Research Foundation). We are looking very much forward to working with them on new exciting research!
Before starting at SpaceLab, Jakob coordinated interdisciplinary, student-led and highly participatory university education at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS) at Uppsala University and the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences. Through his work in Education for Sustainable Development, Jakob found that the “globalized” way in which many sustainability challenges are framed may lead to passivity that inhibits meaningful action. His key concern is therefore to reframe sustainable development from a science focusing on environmental problems to a creative process that enables pluralistic and socially just transformations to sustainable futures.
His current research interests concern how urban climate and energy transformations may be initiated and accelerated, and their possible effects on justice and power relations. This has led him to explore a broad range of theoretical perspectives, including policy mobilities, urban planning, assemblage theory, social practice theory, environmental justice, and the role of imagination, utopia and visions in sustainability transformations. This was also the focus of Jakob’s Master’s thesis, which investigated the agency of local actors in adaptation to socio-environmental change in Nepal.
Kristin Edith Abrahamsen Kjærås
Before joining our team, Kristin worked as a planner for the municipality of Osterøy. As a planner she worked on different project relating to both social and spatial planning. At SpaceLab she will participate in the project “European cities as actors in climate and energy transformation”. Kristin´s PhD-project looks at trans-urban processes of policy making with reference to climate and energy transformation in European cities. The research involves developing better understandings of how urban policy is mobilized, learned and reassembled in and between cities with a particular focus on the geographies and effects of such processes. As cities are increasingly viewed as having a central role in advancing sustainable development it becomes relevant to question how cities approach matters relating to climate and energy transformations.
Kristin completed her masters in human geography at the University of Oslo in 2013. Her thesis concerned sustainable urban development in Vancouver, Canada with a particular focus on urban farming. Her research interests are related to urban governance, processes of change and transformation, planning and urban sustainable development.