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 candidate, 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 Lorranine, France/Nutek, Sweden


Peer reviewed publications

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.

Scientific and popular science reports
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 that was a story thought of as mainly consisting of natural resources. However, today we know that it is far more complicated and that it is a story also of institutional capacity, human resources, connectivity, financial assets etc.

To learn more about how other regions work to be competitive and attractive in the global economy, the greater Stockholm region decided to compare and learn from other regions in a program called Benchmarking Regions starting in 2004. At this time the idea of globalization was widely embraced for its positive effects; cheaper products imported from low-income countries, decreasing costs for international travel and increasing living standard for people around the world. Although recognized, the negative effects of globalization were less discussed back then, the focus was rather on how to make the most out of globalization.

We engaged in a network of other competitive and attractive metropolitan regions with similar learning ambitions and arranged benchmarking trips across the world. From 2005 -2012 some 150-200 leaders from the Stockholm region participated in these trips going to Seattle (2005), Dublin (2006), Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (2008), Helsinki (2010) and Munich (2012).

The objective of the trips was twofold; to learn from other metropolitan regions and to strengthen the relations among the regional leadership in the greater Stockholm region. Ultimately, we wanted to create a joint learning and a common regional agenda. The delegation consisted of mayors and county councillors, presidents and vice presidents of the universities and research parks, and business leaders from the chambers of commerce, businesses and infrastructure facilities in the region.

During the trips we learnt, for example, how Seattle created a process to integrate the economic planning with their regional and infrastructure planning; how Dublin and Ireland changed and re-changed their strategy to move from being one the poorest countries in Europe; how Singapore managed to attract some of the best researchers in the world in life science; 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, what we learnt from these trips, was not only the best practice and how other regions work to stay competitive and attractive in the globalized economy. We also found out to be learning about our own region by mirroring ourselves in others. Learning about other regions assets and resources, strategies and policies, cultures and way of life – learning about other regions’ spatial stories – is a way of making you learn about your own!