PhD project within Circular Built Environment


Lotte Nystrup Lund,
Industrial PhD


Udviklingssselskabet By og Havn I/S,
Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakadamis Skoler for Arkitektur, Design og Konservering


In my Industrial PhD, I study how nature-inspired and nature-based ideas integrate in urban development of today, and I identify and explain some of the main drivers, paradoxes, consequences, and challenges, related to these integrations. The project focus is urban development inspired by nature’s ability to regenerate, through e.g., biomimicry and regenerative and biophilic design thinking. A part of the project is to study where some of the key ideas of today’s urban sustainability thinking come from – tracking selected ideas back to the 18th century. The project’s underlying thesis is that current development potentials within the field of sustainable urban design can be identified by uncovering how presents ideas has evolved over time, and how selected ideas are unfolded (or are not unfolded) in today’s scientific theory, urban strategy, and practice.

The ambition is to develop theory and initiatives that can help urban stakeholders better understand and integrate nature-inspired and nature-based ideas and design strategies in urban strategy and development. The project includes prototyping a dialogue tool and testing if it could supplement the international certification tool DGNB Urban Districts, which is also used in Denmark. The project’s methods are based on action research and design theory. Data collection includes case studies of urban strategy and urban planning/design/building practice in Copenhagen, as well as a research stay including interviews and urban observations in New Zealand.