My academic background is split between political science and human geography with a master in pol sci (Lund University) and a PhD in human geography (Gothenburg University). In between my degrees I worked as an analyst for Øresundsinstituttet in Malmö where I worked on a broad range of urban development issues. I defended my thesis in September of 2013 and currently work as a postdoc in an EU project on funded by Formas. The project explores the practice of urban labs, or urban living labs, as a potential new form of urban governance.
My thesis explored the lock-in qualities of taken-for-granted beliefs – or myths – that help sustain and legitimise systems of high and rising personal mobility. The myth was that of development through mobility which aids in the creation and continued existence of infrastructural as well as institutional lock-in.
My current project focuses on the concept and practice of urban laboratories, i.e. small scale experimentation of new forms of urban governance aimed at creating sustainable and inclusive cities.
As a result of a rather wide research interest, I have become involved in a variety of courses on both bachelor and master levels. My teaching has been focused on issues of sustainability from an urban perspective, including
- Transition to sustainable urban mobility
- Perspectives and practices of power
- History of environmental thinking
- Global resources
I’m currently involved in several courses at the Department of Human Geography (KEG) at Lund University, mainly the bachelor programme in urban and regional planning. In addition, I supervise master students from the IMER master’s programme at Malmö University.
As part of an ambition to communicate my research to academic and non-academic actors alike, I have conducted several lectures and workshops for both practitioners (planners, politicians, municipal workers) and the public, including:
April 2014, presentation on mobility lock-in for Chalmers University transport research group, Gothenburg
March 2013, lecture and work shop on the role of myth in systemic lock-in, Hållbar Utveckling Väst, Gothenburg
2011-2012, adviser for Gothenburg Climate Strategi (Klimatstrategiskt program för Göteborg), Gothenburg
September 2011, lecture on mobility transition for Jönköping Municipality
September 2010, lecture on sustainable mobility for Norrköping Municipalty
Papers and Publications
Essebo, Maja (2013) Lock-in as make-believe: Exploring the role of myth in the lock-in of high mobility systems. Göteborg: Dept. of Geography. ISBN: 978-91-628-8763-6.
Essebo, Maja & Beaten, Guy (2012) Contradictions of ‘Sustainable Mobility’– The Illogic of Growth and the Logic of Myth. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie. 103 (5): 555–565.
Essebo, Maja (2011) Transport for Suburbia. European Planning Studies, 19(10): 1855-1856.
Essebo, Maja. (2011) The story of sustainable mobility. Göteborg: Choros.
Essebo, Maja (2010) Advancements in Mobility Research. Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference, Grenoble.
Essebo, Maja (2009) Structuring Sustainable Mobility. 1st European conference on sustainability transitions, Amsterdam.