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.

“Grounding Urban Natures” book project at ASEH Conference in San Francisco this week
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“Grounding Urban Natures” book project at ASEH Conference in San Francisco this week

This week Henrik Ernstson and Sverker Sörlin from KTH, UCT, Stanford and Princeton* are organising a special session around their book project Grounding Urban Natures at the ASEH, American Society for Environmental History Conference in San Francisco, March 12-16, 2014. The book project gathers studies from 10 urban areas on different continents and aims to ground discussions […]

Re-blogging: SUPE Session at DOPE tomorrow in Lexington
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Re-blogging: SUPE Session at DOPE tomorrow in Lexington

Tomorrow is the start of the DOPE conference on Dimensions of Political Ecology in Lexington, KY. SUPE is organizing a special session with 8 papers from across the world (unfortunately Cameron Hu and Ilia Farhani had to cancel their participation). The session is on “Pluralizing Urban Political Ecology in a World of Cities” and gathers in-depth case studies […]

Pluralizing or Provincializing Urban Political Ecology? [In a World of Cities]
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Pluralizing or Provincializing Urban Political Ecology? [In a World of Cities]

Henrik Ernstson reflects on the difference between “pluralizing” and “provincializing” urban political ecology. In prompting the contributors to send some bullet points in relation to our special session on “Pluralizing the Approaches to Urban Political Ecology in a ‘World of Cities’”, I made a mistake and wrote the wrong word. In my email, in which […]

Join the email list “Situated UPE”
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Join the email list “Situated UPE”

We have created a SUPE email list for those interested in participating in sharing their ideas on how to pluralize the approaches to urban political ecology in a ‘world of cities’. The discussion list was before called ‘African UPE’ but in recognising the broader parameters of the intellectual and action-oriented project that SUPE is part […]

With the death of Mandela—Focus on South Africa
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With the death of Mandela—Focus on South Africa

Two top geographic journals have posted links to their articles dealing with South Africa—before and after Apartheid—in remembrance of the death of the freedom fighter and first black South African president Nelson Mandela, both including articles by our own Mary Lawhon. Society and Space: Environment and Planning D headlines Post-apartheid geographies – a virtual theme issue and […]

Pluralizing UPE in a World of Cities: 10 Papers @ DOPE session, Kentucky, Feb 2014
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Pluralizing UPE in a World of Cities: 10 Papers @ DOPE session, Kentucky, Feb 2014

We are very glad to have 10 papers from across the world for our special session on “Pluralizing Urban Political Ecology in a World of Cities” at DOPE 2014. DOPE is The Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference in Lexington, KY, February 27 – March 1. The session will gather in-depth case studies with theoretical conversations, from Jakarta, Teheran, Bangalore to […]

SUPE organizes row of special sessions in 2014 on “Pluralizing Urban Political Ecology” – First at DOPE in Lexington
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SUPE organizes row of special sessions in 2014 on “Pluralizing Urban Political Ecology” – First at DOPE in Lexington

During 2014 we are organizing a series of special sessions on “Pluralizing the Approaches to Urban Political Ecology in a ‘World of Cities’”. The aim is to discuss how we in the coming decade can create a broad and rich repertoire for unpacking urban political ecologies in a ‘world of cities’ that can handle and take […]

Staging difference at Princess Vlei. “You can bet they struck a deal at the vlei” (Part 1)
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Staging difference at Princess Vlei. “You can bet they struck a deal at the vlei” (Part 1)

Henrik Ernstson takes a look at a cultural mobilization against a backdrop of contestation in one part of Cape Town. This Saturday, on September 28, 2013, Emile YX? and his multiple crews of dancers and rappers will again mobilize to stop a shopping mall from being built at Princess Vlei, a park and wetland in […]

Cityscapes: An urban magazine from the global South
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Cityscapes: An urban magazine from the global South

By Henrik Ernstson How to think cities anew? When what we are seeing are not new Londons, Parises, New-Yorks or even Tokyos growing, we need to start re-thinking what urbanization and urbanism is about. New Cityscapes issue #3 out. Speaking from the south on ‘Smart Cities’. This is when we need a magazine like Cityscapes. Started in 2011 […]

Just Sustainabilities—A new book by Julian Agyeman
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Just Sustainabilities—A new book by Julian Agyeman

 A new book is out from Julian Agyeman that should be of interest to a broad audience, from urban sociologists, geographers, planners and activists, and their combinations! Read more here. Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning, and Practice Julian Agyeman This unique and insightful text offers an exploration of the origins and subsequent development of the concept of […]