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The world is facing great challenges and with the majority of the world's population living in cities, urban planning and design play an increasingly important role for sustainable development. Of critical importance to this is a deeper understanding of how urban form supports, structures and limits various urban systems. Urban research on sustainability has long had a socio-technical approach, but SMoG:s research is based more on a system-ecological understanding that widens urban planning and design to also include ecosystems. Such an approach is what we call Social-Ecological Urbanism.

The research activities of the group can be summarized in three main areas: development of new methods and metrics for analyzing built form and urban systems, theory development in which the connections between urban form and its performativity is central, and finally application where the transfer of knowledge into practice is in focus.