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Master thesis from Social-Ecological Urbanism won Arwidsson award in Applied urban planning

Maja Lindroth and Matilda Svensson in their Master thesis ‘After dark: Social-ecological public space from a darkness perspective’ explored how we can creatively and responsibly include darkness in urban planning and design to address light pollution that is harmful both for humans and other species, especially nocturnal animals. They provide strategies to do so without compromising the feeling of safety. Using Gothenburg, Sweden, as their case study where bats have been recognized as a most important native species, they propose multiscalar interventions (city, district, public space) that work towards rebalancing the needs of humans and other species. Their design methodology combined spatial and data analysis with design explorations and lab experiments using physical models.

Among others the jury’s motivation stated: ‘After Dark makes clear the need to instill questions about the relationships between lighting, ecosystems and habitat as obvious parts of the urban planning process. In this way, the thesis constitutes a valuable and important contribution to the field of applied urban planning.’

The master thesis was a collaboration of the ‘Social Ecological Urbanism’ and the ‘Urban Challenges’ thesis directions.

Supervisors: Gianna Stavroulaki and Joaquim Tarasso

Examiner: Lars Marcus

For more information on the thesis and the jury’s motivation, please visit:

Download the complete thesis here:


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