Anna Lundgren

Senior Research Fellow

Anna has a special interest in what makes urban and rural regions sustainable, liveable and prosperous. She has an academic background in political science and in urban and regional planning, and long experience in regional development, policymaking and governance.

Academic qualifications
PhD in Planning and Decision Analysis with specialization in Urban and Regional Studies, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (2017)
BSc in International Social Sciences, Växjö University (1993)


Prior Positions
2013-2018: Project manager, Region Stockholm
2013-2017: Industrial PhD, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
2008-2013: Secretary general, Council for the Stockholm Mälar Region (Mälardalsrådet)
1998-2008: International secretary and project manager, Council for the Stockholm Mälar Region (Mälardalsrådet)
1998: Project manager, Stockholm County Council (Stockholms läns landsting)
1994-1998: Senior advisor Regional development and International affairs, Federation of Swedish County Councils (Landstingsförbundet/ Sveriges Kommuner och landsting)
1993-1994: Internship and project manager Conseil Régional de Lorraine, France/Nutek, Sweden


Peer-reviewed publications

  • Lundgren, A (2019) Participation in local and regional development perspectives in social capital, planning and governance. Towards a research agenda. In Matsushima K., K. Kobayashi and H. Westlund (Eds.) Social capital and development trends in rural areas, Volume 12, Kyoto: Kyoto University (ISBN:978-4-907830-12-0)
  • Lundgren, A (2017) The Openness Buzz. A Study of Openness in Planning, Politics and Political Decision-Making in Sweden from an Institutional Perspective, PhD Thesis. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
  • Lundgren A (2017) Openness and Transparency in Political Decision-Making: An Empirical Study through an Institutional Lens. Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Vol 11, No 1.
  • Lundgren A (2016) The Openness Buzz in Metropolitan Regions: Swedish Regional Development Strategies. European Journal of Spatial Development. Research briefing no. 6.
  • Lundgren A and Westlund H (2016) The Openness Buzz in the Knowledge Economy: Towards Taxonomy. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. Vol 35, Issue 6, 2017.


  • Hasselgren B och A Lundgren (2016) Gränsöverskridande transportplanering i Norden. Utvärdering av det nordiska samarbetet kring transporter och transportinfrastruktur. Copenhagen: Nordiska Ministerrådet.
  • Hasselgren B and Lundgren A (2014) Trans-Governance Öresund: Experiences and future development in transport infrastructure development and governance in the Öresund Region. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Anna Lundgren‘s spatial story

Learning about other regions’ spatial stories

What makes some places prosperous and attractive while others lag behind? A long time ago. we thought of that as a story of natural resources. Today we know that this is a far more complex story of institutional capacity, accessibility to global markets and human and social capital. And we also know that in order to be resilient and sustainable we have to engage with this complexity.

So, where can we learn from? When I worked for the greater Stockholm region, we decided 15 years ago to set up a program to compare and learn from other competitive and attractive metropolitan regions – what is it that makes them thrive and prosper?

We engaged in a network with other competitive and attractive metropolitan regions with similar learning ambitions and arranged benchmarking trips to cities and regions such as Seattle, Singapore, Dublin, Helsinki and Munich. In total, more than 150 regional leaders participated in those trips; mayors, county councillors, presidents of universities and research parks, and business leaders. The objective was to create joint learning, strengthen relations and to create a common regional agenda. During the trips we learnt, for example, how Seattle created a process to integrate economic planning with their regional and infrastructure planning; how Singapore worked to attract the best researchers in life sciences world wide; about the high performing educational system in Helsinki; and how public and private collaboration can be used in such different areas as reducing youth unemployment and financing of infrastructure in Bavaria.

However, perhaps most important part from the best practice of how other regions work to stay competitive and attractive, we also increased our knowledge about our own region by mirroring ourselves in others. Learning about other regions’ spatial stories is a way to learn more about your own region!