Urban Nature 2030

2016 Conceptual Product Solutions

10-week term project with the Husqvarna Group 



By the year 2050 it has been predicted that 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas. Despite that many cities are experimenting with new ways of bringing urban greenery into the city and public space, knowing that this not only makes cities more competitive, brings broad environmental and economic benefits, as well as providing significant positive health effects for its inhabitants in terms of reducing stress, anxiety and encouraging exercise, unfortunately even more cities seems to underestimate this: " On a global level, our survey indicates that 33% of urban dwellers believe that the amount of green spaces in their city has declined over the last 10 years. Similarly, 41 % of urban dwellers believe that tomorrow's cities will contain fewer green spaces than today's." Husqvarna Global Garden Report 2012.


The starting point and intended users were two-fold, and explorations were made of the design space within urban gardening and public parks, together with the potential for product solutions for both professionals and consumers.
The intention was to identify and visualize design opportunities for the Husqvarna Group on how people could create and develop their 'urban nature' in year 2030.

Work method

The project started with a study trip to Malmö to visit and see examples of installations made in the city's Biodivercity project. During the stay in Malmö additional visits and guided tours were made at an urban gardening community as well as at the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute. Back in Umeå the students visited a number of local parks in smaller groups and made onsite interviews and observations of the personnel working there. As the last field research activity a local community gardening was visited. Afterwards all the information and insights were shared and used as a platform for creative explorations and ideation.  Please have a look at the short movie below summarizing the research phase.


The study resulted in a number of concept solutions for urban gardening in the future home, covering everything from creating more nutritious food, to foster curiosity and educations about plants, to semi-public installations were the community sharing-transactions takes place, to a complete kit for growing and develop you own mushrooms at home.  One concept conceptualised of harvesting moisture from the air in order to provide water for personal greenery and one project addressed the physical and practical pain points of working as an arborist.


External collaborating partner and tutors from Husqvarna:

Towe Ressman, VP Global Design Center
Rajinder Mehra, Brand Design Manager - Husqvarna.
Jens Näslund, Brand Design Manager - Gardena. 

External project tutor:

Bilgi Karan, HOWL.

Internal tutor:

Jonas Sandström, teacher in form and visualization.

Course repsonsible and internal tutor:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.