Writing on Urban living labs (ULLs) as a tool for experimentation in cities, Bylund et al (2022:1) note their importance for multi-stakeholder co-creation leading to urban transitions and transformations. Reflecting on experience with the model as an incubator for research and innovation in everyday settings, the authors note “mounting concern from practice, innovators, and research that there is little systematic integration of practical outputs”. Following close interaction with living labs through the EU’s Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) the authors emphasise how that implementation of innovative ideas that emerge through collaboration requires situated knowledge and understanding of the risks involved. While the long-term impacts of living labs on particular places and urban scenarios are not yet well understood, “stakeholder dialogues revealed a concern that paying only lip-service to the urban living lab approach may undermine its potential and make it difficult to maintain focus”, emphasising the need for a resilient cross-sectional ecosystem of stakeholders. Following Felt et al. (2007), ULLs represent “a shift in research and innovation systems from a regime of the economics of technoscientific promises to a regime of collective experimentation”, putting a greater emphasis on public value (Bylund, 2022:5).
Read the entire article by lab lead Donagh Horgan on LinkedIn.