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Exploring Living Labs through Transition Management - Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Transitions

Schliwa, Gabriele LU (2013) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN41 20132
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The transition towards a sustainable society has become more and more an urban challenge due to a dramatic shift from rural to urban living over the past century. Cities cause environmental and social problems and offer solutions to many sustainability challenges. Living Labs are research infrastructures embedded in a real-life environment, which have recently emerged as a tool for urban governance and sustainability research to drive innovation towards sustainable urban development. This thesis explores Living Labs through Transition Management (TM) and concludes that their strategic, operational, tactical and reflexive activities and structures potentially contribute to sustainable urban transitions. TM was useful as an analytical... (More)
The transition towards a sustainable society has become more and more an urban challenge due to a dramatic shift from rural to urban living over the past century. Cities cause environmental and social problems and offer solutions to many sustainability challenges. Living Labs are research infrastructures embedded in a real-life environment, which have recently emerged as a tool for urban governance and sustainability research to drive innovation towards sustainable urban development. This thesis explores Living Labs through Transition Management (TM) and concludes that their strategic, operational, tactical and reflexive activities and structures potentially contribute to sustainable urban transitions. TM was useful as an analytical framework to better understand how Living Labs work in practice.

An important finding of this exploratory research is that the Living Lab approach has been further developed in two complementary research streams, which this thesis categorises as Sustainable Living Lab (SLL) and Urban Living Lab (ULL). SLLs focus on the product and service system development and mainly target the generation of knowledge for future up-scaling activities, while ULLs focus on the implementation of socio-technical innovations on an urban territory.

National and international networks are vital for Living Labs to share and spread knowledge, to jointly develop methodologies and evaluation indicators, increase their visibility as well as the probability of getting funded. The significant partnership between researchers, citizens, companies and local governments within a Living Lab creates beneficial preconditions to connect sustainable innovations with the market and society, and thus potentially advance sustainable urban transitions. Major challenges are collaborative alignment work, divergent stakeholder interests as well as the motivation of users during the experimentation phase. The most important success indicator for SLL and ULL is what has been learned within a project. This contrasts them from conventional Living Labs targeting innovation service delivery. Providing space for innovative experimentation, that would not have taken place outside a SLL or ULL, is one of the key contributions to sustainable urban transitions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Schliwa, Gabriele LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20132
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Transition Management, Living Labs, Sustainable Urban Transitions, Innovation
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2013:24
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
4091934
date added to LUP
2013-10-16 13:12:56
date last changed
2013-10-16 13:12:56
@misc{4091934,
  abstract     = {The transition towards a sustainable society has become more and more an urban challenge due to a dramatic shift from rural to urban living over the past century. Cities cause environmental and social problems and offer solutions to many sustainability challenges. Living Labs are research infrastructures embedded in a real-life environment, which have recently emerged as a tool for urban governance and sustainability research to drive innovation towards sustainable urban development. This thesis explores Living Labs through Transition Management (TM) and concludes that their strategic, operational, tactical and reflexive activities and structures potentially contribute to sustainable urban transitions. TM was useful as an analytical framework to better understand how Living Labs work in practice. 

An important finding of this exploratory research is that the Living Lab approach has been further developed in two complementary research streams, which this thesis categorises as Sustainable Living Lab (SLL) and Urban Living Lab (ULL). SLLs focus on the product and service system development and mainly target the generation of knowledge for future up-scaling activities, while ULLs focus on the implementation of socio-technical innovations on an urban territory. 

National and international networks are vital for Living Labs to share and spread knowledge, to jointly develop methodologies and evaluation indicators, increase their visibility as well as the probability of getting funded. The significant partnership between researchers, citizens, companies and local governments within a Living Lab creates beneficial preconditions to connect sustainable innovations with the market and society, and thus potentially advance sustainable urban transitions. Major challenges are collaborative alignment work, divergent stakeholder interests as well as the motivation of users during the experimentation phase. The most important success indicator for SLL and ULL is what has been learned within a project. This contrasts them from conventional Living Labs targeting innovation service delivery. Providing space for innovative experimentation, that would not have taken place outside a SLL or ULL, is one of the key contributions to sustainable urban transitions.},
  author       = {Schliwa, Gabriele},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Transition Management,Living Labs,Sustainable Urban Transitions,Innovation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Exploring Living Labs through Transition Management - Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Transitions},
  year         = {2013},
}