Sustainable use of land and water

Active sport and outdoor recreation are very important to our quality of life, but there is a downside to our presence in nature. Without sufficient knowledge and sustainable planning and management, we risk damaging the natural environments. That’s why we want to increase our knowledge base and develop the work processes in spatial planning and decisions on managing the different environments.

Photo: Andreas Skriver Hansen

Areas with nature are crucial to outdoor recreation in Sweden and for activities in the border area between sport and outdoor recreation – such as orienteering. While stays in nature are important for our well-being, our health and our environmental commitment, they risk having a negative impact on other species and their habitats – effects that could be irreversible.

Lack of knowledge

There is a lack of knowledge about sport and outdoor recreation as an area of interest for overall planning and management of land and water in Sweden. Planning also takes place at different measurement levels – national, regional and local – and it is difficult to establish workable links between these levels.

Different physical conditions in different areas

The land and water requirements for sport and outdoor recreation apply to areas that can be used on a daily basis, such as urban environments, as well as those that are further from the everyday environment that are used for extended stays, for example marine and coastal or mountain environments. It is therefore important to be able to work on planning and management with different visitor groups and in different geographical areas with different physical conditions.

Analysing the effects of negative impact

We want to increase the knowledge base for sport and outdoor recreation, in spatial planning as well as decisions on the management of land and water. These are issues such as: What are the ecological effects of sport and outdoor recreation? How can spatial planning help reduce the negative impact while increasing participation in stays in nature in all population groups? What impact do new forms of use have on soil and water?

Increase in-depth knowledge about sport and outdoor recreation

We want to develop processes and institutional forms, together with actors in spatial planning and management, to introduce and include knowledge about sport and outdoor recreation. We also want to help improve the links between different measurement levels in spatial planning and take into consideration issues of health and justice, and social cohesion.

By developing knowledge about physical and ecological impacts, while increasing knowledge about the possibilities of different planning and management solutions from a holistic perspective, we contribute to improving the conditions for more sustainable development!




Marie Stenseke, University of Gothenburg

Theme leader


Sara Borgström, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Vice theme leader

PhD, Assistant Professor, Sustainable urban development 

Areas of research: Urban landscape governance, Social-ecological systems, Urban resilience, Ecosystem services, Knowledge co-creation





Sandra Wall Reinius, Mid Sweden University

Vice theme leader

Associate Professor, Human Geography

Areas of research: Landscape research, Nature conservation, Local communities – tourism interface, Nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation in rural/peripheral areas, Disability studies and accessible tourism

Erik Andersson, Stockholm University

Associate Professor, Sustainability science

Area of research: Human – Nature relations, primarily set in a context of sustainable urban development. Spatial planning and green infrastructure issues – it’s (multi) functionality, users and use, and as a potential bridge in a sectoral governance system. Principles and approaches for building resilience around quality of life (food, recreation, other ecosystem services) in times of change. Inter- and transdisciplinarity as disciplines.


Rosemarie Ankre, Mid Sweden University

PhD, Spatial planning

Areas of research: Outdoor recreation and nature tourism in coastal and mountain areas, Conflicts of interest in relation to land and water use, Visitor attitudes, Planning and management, Accessibility, Quiet areas, noise and sound landscapes, Zoning to divide the geographical landscape and to manage conflicts in planning and management

Andreas Skriver Hansen, University of Gothenburg

PhD, Human geography

Areas of research: Outdoor recreation, tourism, physical planning, environmental planning, resource management, landscape theory

Peter Fredman, Mid Sweden University

Axel Eriksson, Mid Sweden University

PhD Candidate in Tourism Studies

Areas of research: Event, Outdoor recreation, Development perception, Sustainable development, Land use

Oskar Abrahamsson, University of Gothenburg

PhD Student in Human Geography

Areas of research: Human-Nature relations, Accessibility, Landscape, GIS, Physical planning, Outdoor recreation

Kristin Malmcrona Friberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Stockholm Resilience Centre

PhD Candidate in Strategic Sustainability Studies

Areas of research: Human-Nature Relations, Outdoor Recreation in peri-urban landscapes, Social-Ecological Systems, Stewardship, Multifunctional landscapes, Urban landscape governance, Green space management, Co-creation of knowledge and science