Nature, Green Spaces and Outdoor Recreation

The research field of this multidisciplinary group is socio-cultural ecosystem services provided by rural as well as urban green and blue infrastructures, e.g. outdoor recreation, green space management, and branding.

People and boats in the sea

Key Research Themes

  • Monitoring programmes/inventories for outdoor activities
  • Outdoor recreation planning and management
  • Outdoor recreation of various user groups
  • Conflicts related to outdoor recreation activities
  • Forest and landscape preferences, sense of place and view of nature and values
  • Children's activities in nature and connectedness to nature
  • Experience and accessibility mapping
  • Garden and nature based tourism
  • Urban forestry and urban greening
  • Green spaces and city branding
  • Social aspects of blue-green infrastructures and nature-based solutions
  • Coastal and marine recreation - maritime spatial planning
  • Ethics related to hunting and wildlife management
  • Citizen science and participatory mapping
  • Participatory governance and volunteering

Guiding Policy Makers, Planners, and Managers

The applied perspective of our research aims at guiding policy makers, planners, and managers, which is manifested in e.g. project collaboration with cities, municipalities and agencies. Within certain fields the research group has close collaboration with the department’s Forest and Landscape College – e.g. teaching in the natural and cultural heritage manager programme (Natur- og kulturformidler).






Major research projects

  • Collective Impact Det åbne land som dobbelt ressource (Evaluation of recreational benefits from land consolidation projects under the Collective Impact project: “Landscape as a double resource”)
  • VIVA-PLAN is about revitalising in-between spaces in residential housing areas to promote nature conservation, social inclusion and human well-being. The project aim is to develop sustainable plans with social and ecological values for public areas to engage local residents in active participation in proposed activities.
  • SMARTer Greener Cities. Funded by Nordforsk, SMARTer Greener Cities aims to develop and test novel tools and processes for explicitly converging social, ecological, and technological approaches. The convergence of these approaches will promote resilient and equitable urban futures in Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, and generate new opportunities for transformative change and increasing resilience to extreme events in other Nordic cities.
  • Planning with youth (no homepage yet). Engaging, meaningful and forward-looking participation of youngsters in shaping attractive and sustainable living environments. This project aims to
    1) systematically and empirically assessing challenges with youth involvement planning,
    2) testing and comparing alternative tools with youngsters (13-18 years), and
    3) develop an intergenerational framework for planning of blue-green infrastructure in public places.
  • CO-CARBON, Funded by the Finnish Academy of Science, CO-CARBON will develop a new concept of carbon-smart UGI, and through co-creative processes, create science-based solutions to support its implementation among the society. A systemic approach is used to maximise carbon-smart solutions together with other environmental and societal factors.
  • Center for Børn og Natur: (Children & Nature – Denmark). Leading the partnership between six stakeholders with various projects about children’s use of nature and connections to nature – including national surveys 
  • Evaluering af 115 kystfacilitetsprojekter i ’Kysten er Klar puljen (Nordea-fonden)
  • Kystfriluftsfaciliteter i Danmark (FR & LOA)

Completed projects

  • INUT-projektet (Innovationsfonden)
  • Havfriluftsliv (Online mapping survey of water-related activities)
  • ØKOMAR-projektet (Villumfonden)
  • Havplan Kattegat-projekt (Foreningen Bæredygtig Kystkultur)
  • Blåt friluftsliv i Morsø og det vestlige del af Limfjorden (Morsø Kommune)
  • European COST Action "Ocean Governance for Sustainability - Challenges, Options and the Role of Science"
  • GREEN SURGE (Green Infrastructure and Urban Biodiversity for Sustainable Urban Development and the Green Economy)
  • Cost Action FP1204 GreenInUrbs (Green Infrastructure approach - linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests)
  • DIABOLO (Distributed, Integrated And Harmonised Forest Information For Bioeconomy Outlooks)
  • Fremtidens Landskaber
  • Barrierer for offentlighedens adgang til naturen. A national survey of barriers (signs, fences etc.) which may obstruct public access to the Danish countryside and nature areas

PhD projects

  • Yu Liu: Incidental nature experience in urban greenery

Completed PhD projects



















Members of the Research Group

Name Title Phone E-mail
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Andreas Aagaard Christensen Assistant Professor +4535331917 E-mail
Andreas Aagaard Christensen Assistant Professor +4535331917 E-mail
Anton Stahl Olafsson Associate Professor +4535331808 E-mail
Berit Charlotte Kaae Senior Researcher +4535331811 E-mail
Frank Søndergaard Jensen Professor with special responsibilities +4535331814 E-mail
Hans Skov-Petersen Professor +4523828045 E-mail
Maja Steen Møller Postdoc +4535336776 E-mail
Natalie Marie Gulsrud Associate Professor +4521865524 E-mail
Oriol García Antúnez Research Assistant +4535325037 E-mail
Sandra Gentin Teaching Associate Professor +4535331662 E-mail
Søren Præstholm Special Consultant +4535331633 E-mail

Head of Research Group

Frank Søndergaard JensenFrank Søndergaard Jensen
Professor MSO

Tel.: +45 35331814