Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning – University of Copenhagen

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Svava Riesto

Svava Riesto

Associate Professor

  • Landscape Architecture and Planning

    Rolighedsvej 23

    1958 Frederiksberg C

    Phone: +45 35 33 17 68

Svava Riesto's research explores the transformation of urban landscapess, focussing on the roles of history and heritage in design and planning practices and the theories and methodologies for site-studies in the design disciplines. She specializes in 20th century urban landscapes and their cultural meanings, uses and transformation processes.


Since 2017, Svava is responsible for the sub-project Practicing Welfare Landscapes. Biographical perspectives on Danish post-war social housing estates, which is part of a larger project "Reconfiguring Welfare Landscapes", funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research, Humanities.


Educated as an art historian at the Arctic University of Tromsø, Norway, the Freie Universität Berlin and Copenahgen University, Svava has worked several years in landscape architecture and urban design practices (SLA and Ekstract) before defending a phd on the roles of heritage in urban redevelopment in 2012. Her work is is dedicated to the exchange between practice, education and reearch.


Svava Riesto is is author of several articles and books that explore urban landscape transformation, including Biography of an Industrial Landscape. Carlsberg's Urban Spaces Retold (Amsterdam University Press 2017) and Forankring i Forandring. Christiania og Bevaring som Ressource i Byudvikling (contributing editor with Anne Tietjen and Pernille Skov, Arkitektskolens Forlag 2007). She has guest edited themed journal issues about the cultural roles of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, including As Found (Nordic Journal of Architecture 2011, with Ellen Braae) and Arkitektur og Kvantitet  (Periskop, with Martin Søberg and Markus Bogish, 2016) and curated exhibitions, e.g. Wunderstadt - SLA (Galerie Aedes Berlin 2005).


Co-organizer of the Öresund Design Research Seminars and the Copenhagen Landscape Lectures. 


Teaching, seminars and lectures

Course responsible for the MSc course Theories and Methods of Landscape Architecture,, with Ellen Braae.

Supervision of Msc and Bsc theses and conducting varoious Phd Courses

Svava Riesto has been guest-teacher in various contexts, including Sheffield University's School of Architecture, the Technical University Delft's Faculty of Architecture and the Oslo School of Architecture.


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