Johan Jansson

Universitetslektor Bitr prefekt, Stf prefekt, docent vid Kulturgeografiska institutionen

018-471 25 42, 073-469 79 19
Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10
Box 513
751 20 UPPSALA
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Kort presentation

Johan Jansson is an associate professor (universitetslektor/docent) and the Ass./Dep. Head of department at the Department of Human Geography at Uppsala University.

Jansson does research focusing on 1) the spatial organization of (economic) activities in the intersection between culture and economy; 2) how technology alters dynamics of distance/proximity and social/economic interactions; 3) understanding questions related to death geographies.


  • consumption
  • cultural and creative industries
  • digitalization
  • distance
  • embeddedness
  • innovation
  • intermediation
  • knowledge flows
  • production
  • proximity
  • qualitative methods
  • regional development
  • urban and rural planning


In relation to research Jansson has experience in writing research applications, leading and coordinating research projects. His research concerns 1) the spatial organization of (economic) activities, spatially and socially embedded processes in the intersection between culture and economy (e.g. CCSI); 2) how technology alters dynamics of distance/proximity and thus changes social and economic interactions (e.g. slow technologies); 3) understanding questions related to death geographies (e.g. funeral homes and directors). Jansson primarily uses qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, secondary material and qualitative data analysis.

In terms of teaching Jansson is involved in planning, administrating and teaching at various courses at the Department of Human Geography (undergraduate, master level) and coordinating PhD level courses within the national PhD course program. He is mainly teaching in courses related to Economic geography and Urban and regional planning, but does also teach more broader aspects of Human Geography. Currently Jansson is the program coordinator for the Samhällsplaneringsprogrammet (Bachelor's Program in Urban and Regional Planning) at Uppsala university. In addition, Jansson does teach in interdisciplinary contexts such as the Master Program in Socio-Technical Systems Engineering.

Jansson has experience in university administration (e.g. human geography department board 2012-2020, teacher representative at the social science faculty board at Uppsala university 2018-2023, member of the election committee at the faculty of Social science at Uppsala University 2023-) and is from fall 2023 deputy head of department at the department of human geography, Uppsala University.


Ongoing projects

“One foot here one foot there: how is sustainable economic development, innovation and working life affected by second home ownership in Sweden?” (Funded by Formas, 2024-2026). This project is based on the premise that our daily lives are increasingly fragmented across different locations, for many that is between their primary and secondary homes. Technological advancements, changing work and employment practices, such as freelancing and working from home, have meant that the home and other places besides the traditional office are becoming more central to work life for many people. The purpose of this three-year research project, which brings together researchers from three Swedish human geography departments, is to study the role of second homes in work life and what they mean for sustainable development. The analysis focuses on three areas: spatial patterns for the relationship between second homes and regional development, case studies of regions where second homes are prominent, and sectors where workers and entrepreneurs are overrepresented. The goals of the project are to contribute to emerging research that challenges a traditional spatial division of urban core and rural periphery, to better understand emerging space of work and mobility, and to better understand second homes’ role in sectors and in regions. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative methods, the project aims to question whether second homes can contribute to more dynamic local and sustainable economic development; and if using a second home contributes to people's working lives in ways that might be positive to economic sustainability and wellbeing.

“Funerary navigators: from fixed framework to facilitating choice in a shifting landscape” Traditionally, the Church of Sweden provided a clear framework for how funerals and pastoral care were carried out and the Church still plays an important institutional role when it comes to funerals in contemporary Sweden. However, in an increasingly secularized society it is no longer obvious who or what sets the framework for how a funeral is conducted and the concept of 'the church in the centre of the village' has gradually lost its meaning. Given this background, the aim of this project is to increase understanding of the functional and spatial division brought about by processes of differentiation and professionalisation of funeral services. Empirically, the project will focus on three types of actors - officiant training programmes, civil funeral officiants and priests and funeral directors/homes. The project also focuses on three different spatial levels (urban, rural and online) within a clearly defined region – Uppsala County. It is an interdisciplinary project which using qualitative methods combines theoretical and analytical competence from two disciplines: Sociology of religion and human geography. The project will provide new knowledge into how the system of actors that relate to funerals in contemporary Sweden act and from a starting point in these insights enable a better understanding of how individuals plan their funerals (micro level) and how structural changes (macro level) influence how funerals are conducted today.

“Curation in music technology innovation processes”. Modern society is characterized by technological and social acceleration, transforming the material, social and mental worlds at an increasing rate (Rosa 2014). Digital innovation offers seemingly limitless availability of technological choices and features, often making the act of browsing and choosing a central, time-consuming activity in itself – a frustration for some, a pastime for others. Regardless of the purpose, research shows that too much choice is detrimental to moving forward, often leading to disempowered feelings of alienation (Schwartz 2004, Tin 2012, Biskjaer & Halskov 2014). To deal with the feeling of acceleration, limiting available choices and features in the digital devices we use every day, emerges as a central issue in order to nurture creativity and focus. There are today several examples of “alternative” products (Thorén et al 2019) that offer limited functionality, running counter to competing products - and they seem to be growing in popularity. These products resonate with the recent discourse around a shift from the efficiency paradigm to technological slowdown (Hallnäs & Redström 2001) and meaningful technologies (de Cremer & Kasparov 2022, Thorén 2021) by attenuating the constant flow of information and choice, fostering a sense of permanence and stability. The purpose of the project is an increased understanding of how “curation” as a material-discursive practice is made sense of and applied in innovation processes.

Past projects (selected)

  • “Creative and entrepreneurial edges: Creativity, entrepreneurship, and business networks on the edge and periphery of Sweden” (funded by Handelsbanken Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse (2020-2023).
  • “The Art of Migrating: A study of how artists and musicians create meanings and translocal connections in times of conflict and uncertainty” (funded by Circus/Uppsala University 2021-2022.
  • “Managing the challenges of time and space in digital transformation” (funded by Vinnova 2021-2022).
  • “Innovating funerals and funeral rites in Sweden” (funded by Circus/Uppsala University 2020-2021).
  • “Managing the digital transformation of physical space” (funded by Vinnova 2019-2021)
  • “Intermediation, place and value creation: Exploring the processes and spaces of ‘curation’” (funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2015-2021)
  • ”Culture, creativity and economy” (Rambidrag för kulturforskning’), funded by Vetenskapsrådet 2014-2020.
  • "Quality, competitiveness and regions", funded by Handelsbanken and the Jan Wallanders and Tom Hedelius Stiftelse Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse, 2011-14.
  • ”I besökarens fotspår” ("Following the visitor”), funded by ‘Uppsala Innovation’ through the project ‘Verifiering för samverkan’ (‘Verification for collaboration’), 2014-2015.
  • "Competitiveness through quality”, funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NOS-HS) and the funding of Nordic Collaborative Research Projects (NORDCORP), 2009-13.
  • “Creativity and Innovation in the Cultural Industries”, funded by Wallander/Hedelius Fund at Handelsbanken, 2006-09.
  • ”The Image of the City - Urban Branding as Constructed Capabilities in Nordic City Regions”, funded by the Nordic Innovation Center, 2005-06.
  • “Creative Directions - a framework for supporting the creative industries”, funded by the Nordic Innovation Center, 2005.
  • “The Future in Design”, funded by the Nordic Industrial Fund, 2004.
  • ”Behind the Music”, funded by the Nordic Industrial Fund, 2003.
  • ”The Internet Industry in Central Stockholm” (thesis project) A Study of Agglomeration Economies, Social Network Relations, and Information Flows [Internetbranschen i Stockholms innerstad – En studie av agglomerationsfördelar, sociala nätverksrelationer och informationsflöden]”. Thesis project funded by Uppsala University, 2000-2005.


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Johan Jansson