Photo of Mattias Hjerpe

Mattias Hjerpe

Senior Associate Professor

My research focuses on urban climate change and adaptation. Transitions are difficult to detect and govern. I investigate how various actors in cities govern climate change, including how climate work is initiated, maintained and scaled-up.

Supporting the governance of urban climate transitions and actions

In the local arena, I wrestle with the question of how to "see" transitionin organisations and at the individual level. It is difficult to distinguish incremental from more disruptive change and research is yet unable not provide an answer. Consequently, it is difficult to measure transitions and identify factors that initiate, sustain, embed and upscale it?

Adapting existing buildings to climate change

Existing buildings are often described as particularly difficult to adapt due to, for example, unclear distribution of responsibilities, lack of national steering and funding, and access to land. The project "Support for actor-collaboration and multifunctional climate adaptation of residential areas" studies how the ability of real estate companies to adapt their property can be enhanced. Climate risk analyses of large real estate portfolios have been carried out. These form the basis for guidance on how to analyse risk and need for adaptation targeted to large real estate companies. The project has also investigated how real estate companies can integrate climate adaptation into their operations and how homeowners, housing associations and vulnerable groups in elderly care and preschools are affected by extreme weather events, such as intensive rains and heat waves.

New research projects

In 2024, three new research projects are being launched. The project "Where are we heading?" examines how Swedish national government agencies have operationalized and followed up climate adaptation goals and how governance resources are used to create incentives for adaptation, i.e. are we heading towards the goal. The project "Making adaptation work" studies six new solutions for accelerated climate adaptation of the built environment that involve collaboration between property owners and municipal actors. The project "Towards more climate-robust socially important services" aims to strengthen societal learning about how intensive rains affect Swedish municipal welfare through case studies in Gävle and other Swedish cities.

International climate governance

In the arena of international climate change governance, we have previously examined which governmental and non-governmental actors are involved, what they do and what they want to achieve. Here we have developed new concepts, such as governance profiles, and methodologies. In particular, we use the unique survey study: the International Negotiation Survey, which measures the perceptions of climate negotiators and experts on climate policy issues and leadership. Surveys combined with interviews and document studies enable exciting and new analyses. The research is used by, among others, the UN Climate Secretariat and several countries' negotiating delegations.



Erik Glaas, Mattias Hjerpe, Sofie Storbjörk (2024) The 2021 extreme rainfall in Gävle, Sweden: impacts on municipal welfare services and actions towards more resilient premises and operations Hydrology Research, Vol. 55, p. 431-443 Continue to DOI


Anna Malmquist, Mattias Hjerpe, Erik Glaas, Tora Lundgren, Per Gyberg, Sofie Storbjörk (2023) Jag drabbas - det här får kommunen lösa: En intervjustudie med svenska villaägare som påverkats av översvämningar från skyfall Sociologisk forskning, Vol. 3-4, p. 275-298 Continue to DOI
Viktor Sköld Gustafsson, Mattias Hjerpe, Gustav Strandberg (2023) Construction of a national natural hazard interaction framework: The case of Sweden ISCIENCE, Vol. 26, Article 106501 Continue to DOI


Sofie Storbjörk, Mattias Hjerpe (2022) Stuck in experimentation: exploring practical experiences and challenges of using floating housing to climate-proof waterfront urban development in Sweden Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol. 37, p. 2263-2284 Continue to DOI
Anna Malmquist, Mattias Hjerpe, Erik Glaas, Hulda Karlsson, Tina Lassi (2022) Elderly Peoples Perceptions of Heat Stress and Adaptation to Heat: An Interview Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, Article 3775 Continue to DOI





  • 2014
    Lecturer, Linköping University
  • 2012
    Docent, Environmental Studies, Linköping University
  • 2005
  • PhD, Linköping university


Research Leader

  • International Negotiations Survey(INS) (2007-present)
  • Climate Policy and Sustainable Development, CSPR research area (2010-present)
  • Baltic Challenges and Chances for local and regional development generated by Climate Change, EU Baltic Sea Region Programme, 2008-2012
  • Klimatförändringar:sårbarhet och anpassningsförmåga i Östergötland, Centrum för kommunstrategiska studier, LiU, 2008-2012 (Co-project leadership)
  • Climate Policy research Programme (Clipore), Principal Investigator task 5.2, Mistra, 2007-2011