Fredrik Hedenus, Frances Sprei & Holger Wallbaum
​Delegates in the newly formed climate council: Fredrik Hedenus, Frances Sprei & Holger Wallbaum.

Researchers review Gothenburgs climate agenda

​Housing, transportation and public meals are all focus areas that are important for the City of Gothenburg to invest in to be able to meet its new ambitious climate goals. These are advice from three Chalmers researchers and members of the newly formed climate council who will follow and review the City of Gothenburg's work towards reducing the climate footprint by 2030.
The decision to establish at climate council in Gothenburg was made by the city's climate and environment committee, on May 24, 2022. The council will analyze how the climate goals in the city's environmental and climate program can be achieved in a cost-effective way, by proposing and evaluating various measures. The council has seven members, three of them from Chalmers. 

​One of Gothenburg's major challenges is housing, and Holger Wallbaum, Professor in Sustainable Building at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, thinks that the City of Gothenburg needs to focus both on speeding up planning and construction processes to meet the demand for new housing for the growing population, and on a climate-friendly and economically sustainable renovation of the existing building stock. The latter is closely linked to his research group's work to find solutions to the housing challenges by providing data, tools, methods and innovations for a more sustainable built environment.   

The building materials used have an environmental impact throughout their full life cycle, and Holger Wallbaum therefore believes that we must plan, build, operate and maintain our buildings differently to achieve the very ambitious goals of being fossil-free and carbon neutral in the near future.   

– Extra efforts need to be made to reduce the climate impact from the building methods used and from load-bearing structures and building materials. If we are to achieve the goals, efforts will be required from all actors involved, from academia to authorities and companies and also at the individual level. The challenges are great, but they come with many opportunities if we pursue the necessary transformation of the built environment in a holistic way, says Holger Wallbaum.  

Frances Sprei is an Associate Professor at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory. Her research assesses different personal mobility options, such as alternative fueled vehicles and electric vehicles, as well as innovative mobility forms such as car sharing and ride sharing. She thinks that that there are many possibilities to decrease emissions from the transport sector.    

– The transport sector accounts for a large part of emissions. This is also a sector where the city of Gothenburg has some control over both when it comes to promoting electrification and reducing car dependence, says Frances Sprei.

Fredrik Hedenus, Professor, also at the Physical Resource Theory at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, researches strategies to reduce the climate impact of energy and food production. The research focuses on both policy instruments and the effects of various technical and behavioral measures. Within his areas of research he identifies public meals as an important factor to focus on in Gothenburg:

– Public meals are an important part of reducing the climate footprint, and there are also important and interesting goal conflicts regarding public meals, says Fredrik Hedenus. 

In their respective research areas, the trio studies issues that are central to both the city and the people of Gothenburg. This makes Chalmers researchers well suited to review as well as contribute their expertise to the city's climate work.

Delegates in the Municipality of Gothenburg Climate Council

Frances Sprei, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment  
+46 31 772 21 46 
Frances has just finished a project together with IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, which has studied how parking can be used as a policy measure for more sustainable mobility, and is finishing another project that look into how limited parking and access to mobility services affect residents. She also leads a current project on electric scooters to yield insights into the role of micromobility in cities. Frances is also involved in projects concerning electrification of both passenger transport and freight transport.      

Fredrik Hedenus, Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment 
+46 31 772 34 53 
Fredrik is currently researching what a renewable electricity system could look like. This connects in several ways to municipalities like the city of Gothenburg, from the location of wind turbines to coordination with electrification of the transport sector. 

Holger Wallbaum, Professor, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
+46 31 772 19 94
An ongoing project together with Göteborg Energi with the development of a digital twin of all residential and non-residential buildings in the city. The model will help to understand the changing and geographically localized energy needs for today's buildings as well as the buildings to be built in the coming decades. Two newly started projects are dedicated to exploring the environmental and business potential of a circular economy in the built environment.

Other delegates in the climate council:

  • Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Gothenburg
  • Petra Svensson, Senior Lecturer in political science, Halmstad University
  • Andreas Nilsson, Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg
  • Ebba Brink, Researcher at Center for Sustainability Studies, Lund University

Page manager Published: Wed 25 May 2022.