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Björn Wallsten

In my research, I am interested in how infrastructure systems affect society and vice versa. Since cities are places where this reflexive relationship is perhaps the most accentuated and complex, I find them endlessly fascinating. To the urban arena of networked infrastructures I like to add an environmental perspective, not the least since I believe cities hold an important key to the transition towards a more sustainable society. I am also into roadbikes, salty snacks and Kate Bush.

Academic Degrees
M.Sc. in Sociotechnical Systems Engineering, Uppsala university 2009
Postgraduate course in Architecture: Resources.08 Los Angeles Beyond Desire, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm 2009

I do research on urban mining, which in its broad sense deals with the mapping and assessment of metal stocks in cities. I narrow this down to the realm of subsurface infrastructure systems, and spatially limit myself to the swedish city of Norrköping. There are large amounts of unused cables, wires and pipes underneath Norrköping which could be reused or recycled, and these are in focus of my research.

In out first article, we show that 5500 metric tonnes and copper worth 28 million swedish crowns lie dormant under the streets of Norrköping. These tonnes are unevenly spread out under the cityscape and it is more likely to find copper and aluminum in the city center while all metals are more frequent in industrial rather than residential areas.

In a recently finished interview study with infrastructure system providers and maintenance subcontractors, we try to understand the underlying dynamics behind Norrköping's urban mine. The question of "Why do parts and wholes of infrastructure systems become obsolete?" and "Why are they left in the ground?" will be answered in the forthcoming article.

During the spring we will broaden our study with a macro-perspective to understand the Swedish material waste regime of urban infrastructure in its entirety. Further ahead is a comparative study between the urban mines of Norrköping and Linköping, a historical study on the disconnections of infrastructure in Norrköping over time and an environmental analysis of copper mining in Norrköping. 

For more details on our department's research in this area: The Forgotten Mines.

Teaching duties
I have supervised master thesis-students at the Environmental Science Program in Norrköping and the masters program in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at KTH. I teach in the courses Miljöteknik and Biofuels for Transport, both given here at the division of Environmental Technology and Management.
I lecture on Drivers and Conditions for Biofuels for Transportation in the course Biofuels for transportation.

I am a contributor to the book project Beyond Fossil: Re-fabricating Urbanity, a joint effort between the Royal Institute of Art and Stockholm Environment Institute.

I have supervised a master thesis work based on a co-operation between our division, the city-planning authority in Norrköping and White Architects. The two students did a pre-prestudy of the master plan of Norrköping will the environmental assessment tool BREEAM.

In another master thesis project on the spatial requirements of sustainable city developments, I worked together with Etablering Norrköping and Norrköping Municipality.

Scientifically reviewed articles, corresponding author
• Berglund, B., Ersson, C., Eklund, M., Martin, M. (2011). Challenges for Developing a System for Biogas as Vehicle Fuel - Lessons From Linköping, Sweden. Conference Paper @ WREC, 2011.
• Berglund, B., Carlsson, A., Frändegård, P., Krook, J. (2012). To Prospect an Urban Mine - Assessing the Metal Recovery Potential of Infrastructure "Cold Spots" in Norrköping, Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production. In Press.

• Black Swans in the Power Grid – How Critical Events Has Affected the Security of Electricity Supply, Master thesis in Sociotechnical Systems Engineering, Uppsala University 2009
• The Fifth Ecology – Los Angeles Beyond Desire, Exhibition Catalogue from the department of Architecture, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm 2009

Other Publications
Earth hour – an orchestrated blackout, feature article in Svenska Dagbladet 2010-03-27 (in swedish).
Midnight activism against Motopia, coverage on the bike subculture in Los Angeles in the climate magazine Effekt #2, 2010 (in swedish).
• I am also a contributing editor of STAD, a magazine and a conversation about the city centered on its inhabitants and their interactions with the environment.

Towards a Just Metropolis @ UC Berkeley, CA, USA, june 2010. Presentation and poster.
Gordon Research Conference in Industrial Ecology @ Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, USA june 2010. Poster.
Shaping Sustainable Cities of the Future: Imagining Beyond 2020… @ House of Sweden, Washington, DC, USA october 2010. Presentation, video report.
Tällberg Foundation - One Day for the Future @ Skeppsholme, Stockholm, august 2010. Presentation.
• The Future of Urban Transportation @ Klimatveckan, Linköping University, november 2010. Debate.
WREC @ Konsert & Kongress, Linköping University, maj 2011. Conference paper.
Sym City @ Kåkenhus, Linköping University, Norrköping, november 2011. Presentation, session video (in Swedish).
4S @ Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH, USA, november 2011. Presentation.

Summer Schools
Cities, Infrastructures, Networks @ Alghero, Sardinia, Italy, june 2011.

Media attention
• NT24 covered the seminar Storstörningar i städer, march 2011.
• Our quantitative study was shortly announced in the speech on Achievements in research and technology, at the annual meeting of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Studies, october 2011. (at 11:45)
• The presentation at the Sym City-conference was covered by Kunskapskanalen and Östnytt, november 2011.
• The swedish environmental site Miljönytta wrote an editorial piece on our research project, december 2011.

Scholarships - research projects
• Sparbankstiftelsen Alfa, scholarship for a research visit at The Spatial History Project, Stanford University, 2010
• Wala och Folke Danielsson Fond, travel scholarship for participation at the Towards A Just Metropolis Conference, UC Berkeley, june 2010
• Stiftelsen Gustaf Janssons Jernkontorsfond, for a study visit to Japan, fall 2012.

Scholarships – other projects
• Ivar and Anders Tengboms foundation, The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, financial support for the urban art project: ”Realtime mapping of feral rabbits”, 2009
• Gunvor Göranssons kulturstiftelse, Lars Bucans kulturstiftelse and Gästriklandsfonden, for the book project Bång! – boken om Kungen, covering the DIY-movement centered around the non-profit Back Beat Bolaget in my hometown Sandviken, 2009 


Phd candidate

Phone: +46 (0)13 28 56 25
e-mail: bjorn.wallsten@liu.se

Visiting address
A-huset, entrance 15-17, level 3, corridor A, room 3A:896

Post address
Linköpings Universitet
Department of Management
and Engineering
Environmental Technology
and Management
581 83 Linköping

envtechlogga70x70.jpgEnvironmental Technology and Management conducts multidisciplinary and environmentally oriented  research on products, services, technical systems and organizations from a systems perspective.

LiUlogga.jpgResearch and doctoral studies at Linköping university is conducted within four faculties: Arts and Sciences, Educational Sciences, Science and Engineering and Health Sciences.

Page manager: anders.carlsson@liu.se
Last updated: 2014-03-04