Henrik Ernstson

Dr. Henrik Ernstson is developing a situated approach to urban political ecology. His contribution to Political Ecology and…

About Me

Dr. Henrik Ernstson is developing a situated approach to urban political ecology.

His contribution to Political Ecology and Urban Studies lies in combining critical geography with urban ecology, urban infrastructure studies, and postcolonial urbanism. He has long experience in leading international research projects, with studies of collective action, knowledge politics, environmental conflicts, urban ecosystem management and critical infrastructure studies in Cape Town, Kampala, New Orleans, and Stockholm. He has continuously also funded and developed collaborations with designers, artists and activist to surface multiple ways of knowing urban environments to question 'who is in the know'. This has contributed to the Environmental Humanities and has included the research-based documentary film One Table Two Elephants (2018, 74 min, with Jacob von Heland) based on work in Cape Town, with upcoming film-based research in Durban and Kampala. He has contracts for two edited volumes with MIT Press and Routledge and his work has been published by leading international journals, including Antipode, Environment and Planning A, Ecology & Society, Ecological Economics, Regional StudiesUrban Studies, and an upcoming article in Theory Culture & Society

He is a Research Fellow at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and their KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory since 2013, Lecturer in Human Geography at the Department of Geography at the The University of Manchester from 2017, and long-term Visiting Scholar at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town since 2010. In 2013-2014 he held a two-year postdoctoral position at Stanford University's Department of History where he collaborated with Stanford Anthropology and Centre for African Studies. His critical work has grown from a wide interdisciplinary background as he holds a PhD in Systems Ecology from Stockholm University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and a MSc in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Linköping University. His previous careers include project manager at an international electrical engineering firm, high school teacher and theatre producer in Stockholm.

For his research projects and wide range of collaborations, see The Situated Ecologies Platform. He is a founding member of The Situated UPE Collective, he tweets at @rhizomia, and for his work and publications go to his Academia.edu page.

Conference at Stanford: “URBAN BEYOND MEASURE: Registering Urban Environments in the Global South” 8-9 May 2015
Posted by

Conference at Stanford: “URBAN BEYOND MEASURE: Registering Urban Environments in the Global South” 8-9 May 2015

Dr. Henrik Ernstson and Dr. Jia-Ching Chen are organizing an ambitious conference at Stanford on the meeting between environmental scientists, global South urbanists and STS scholar on the “Urban Beyond Measure: Registering Urban Environments of the Global South”, May 8-9, 2015 at Stanford University. Included is also a session on film and photography as environmental […]

ACC Seminar: “Political Theory Meets Global South Urbanism: Where is the Political?”, July 27-31, 2015
Posted by

ACC Seminar: “Political Theory Meets Global South Urbanism: Where is the Political?”, July 27-31, 2015

Dr. Henrik Ernstson and Dr. Andrés Henao Castro is organising a week-long #SUPE literature seminar on “Political Theory Meets Global South Urbanism: Where is the Political?”, July 27-31, 2015 at ACC, University of Cape Town. I am happy to have invited Dr. Andrés Henao Castro to come to ACC at University of Cape Town for a month in July/August. […]

Marnie Graham defended her thesis on Postcolonial Nature Conservation
Posted by

Marnie Graham defended her thesis on Postcolonial Nature Conservation

Marnie Graham successfully defended her PhD thesis at Stockholm University on “Postcolonial Nature Conservation and Collaboration” on the 27th of February 2015. Her study is part of our “Ways Of Knowing Urban Ecologies” project in Cape Town where she has studied nature conservation and collaborative arrangements at the Macassar Dunes. By framing the site and nature […]

Moving Closer to Nature: Film Project & Intellectual Conversations
Posted by

Moving Closer to Nature: Film Project & Intellectual Conversations

The 26th of February, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory held the roundtable conversation Moving Closer to Nature. The discussions centred around researching and thinking about nature, capitalism and situated ways of knowing. This post is re-blogged from KTH Environmental Humanities website published on 2015-03-16. For more information read the film project site here. In this conversation, political ecologist […]

SUPE Commentaries—a successful space during 2014 to grow our collective!
Posted by
Posted in

SUPE Commentaries—a successful space during 2014 to grow our collective!

We have had thousands of views on our SUPE ‘Commentaries’ webspace during 2014. The contributions have been lively, gratifying to edit and read for the main editors Henrik Ernstson and Jonathan Silver. Contributions have come from various locations and people. Below we feature a selection of contributions.   Importantly, the SUPE Commentaries has had contributions from several […]

An environmental film project in Cape Town: “Ways of Knowing Urban Nature – The Film”
Posted by

An environmental film project in Cape Town: “Ways of Knowing Urban Nature – The Film”

Swedish filmer Jacob von Heland and Henrik Ernstson report on their film project in Cape Town that deals with knowledge and urban nature. Filming will take place in Cape Town in January and March, with planned screening at the Urban Beyond Measure Conference: Registering Urban Environments of the Global South at Stanford University in May 2015. The film is also an effort to reflect upon […]

Urban Political Ecology in African Cities Workshop
Posted by
Posted in

Urban Political Ecology in African Cities Workshop

            As cities become increasingly significant to development and environmental crises at multiple scales, there is a growing need for research that can contribute to both theory and practice. The term “urban political ecology” (UPE) describes a critical approach to studying cities across a number of themes, ranging from more […]

Workshop: Radical Incrementalism & Theories/Practices of Emancipatory Change
Posted by
Posted in

Workshop: Radical Incrementalism & Theories/Practices of Emancipatory Change

This workshop examines ideas of radical incrementalism across our towns and cities. It seeks to explore theories and practices that can support emancipatory change across urban regions through the power of urban dwellers to challenge poverty, oppression and unjust environments. Such actions and processes take place within and beyond the state and suggest important ways […]

What a publishing year for URBAN THEORY! Necessary books 2013-2014.
Posted by
Posted in

What a publishing year for URBAN THEORY! Necessary books 2013-2014.

Urban theory is in a state of excitement—and undergoing change! Several edited books are coming out that tackles uneven development across the globe, and the planetary transformation that urbanisation is driving. Here is a selection. For any one interested, this selection provides a wealth of empirical material and theoretical insights that will be part in […]

Key note at University of Washington: Re-thinking urban theory and ecological studies from a ‘world of cities’
Posted by

Key note at University of Washington: Re-thinking urban theory and ecological studies from a ‘world of cities’

Henrik Ernstson gave a key note at University of Washington on urban ecology and ‘world of cities’. A contrasting key note on a ‘science of cities’ was held by Professor Geoffrey West from the Santa Fe Institute. The seminar was organised by Professor Marina Alberti at the University of Washington to give input to the reorganisation of their […]