Accepted Research Papers

Following the evaluation procedure, the OLLD evaluation committee has accepted the research papers. All papers reflect on the theme of the conference “Living Labs for an Era of Transitions: how human-centric approach is changing our lives” and have been classified according to its sub-topics. These are Green Transition, Digital Transition, Social Transition, Just Transition and Living Labs Transition – Methodologies & Impact.

Selected papers by the Evaluation Committee

City blocks as living labs for sharing economy

Annamaria Rossi, Päivi Keränen, Jenni Merjankari & Veera Tolonen

Annamaria Rossi

Project Manager Forum Virium Helsinki

Jenni Merjankari

Project Manager Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Track: Green Transtion

Abstract: While circular and sharing economy services are widely available at national and city levels, only a few apply directly to the city block level. In this presentation we explain how the circular and sharing economy has been promoted at the city block level by implementing co-creation activities and facilitating agile pilots in four pilot locations in the Helsinki region. The presentation provides insights from the living lab activities and how the learnings could be scaled-up.

Keywords: Circular economy, Sharing economy, Sustainable urban living, Action research, Agile piloting, Co-creation

LIFE-BECKON proposal for Transition Living Labs

Mauro Ostinelli, Ashtynn Trauth

Mauro Ostinelli

Energy Efficiency Engineer, CEM

Track: Green Transition

Abstract: This paper discusses the importance of energy communities in the transition to renewable energy and how the LIFE-BECKON project is supporting their development through a comprehensive support mechanism, including a Technical Assistance Cookbook, Capacity Building program, and One-Stop-Shop platform. The role of Transition Living Labs in facilitating the development and scaling up of Energy Communities is also explored, with a focus on the Transition Living Lab created by LIFE-BECKON to validate its support mechanisms.

Keywords: Energy Communities, One-Stop-Shop, Technical Assistance, Transition Living.

Cluster Program as a tool for promoting circular economy in construction

Mette Hiltunen

Mette Hiltunen

Senior Advisor Business Helsinki / City of Helsinki

Track: Green Transition

Abstract: Collaborating between public departments and units, research institutes, universities and companies is necessary for implementing circular solutions in the construction sector. As a part of its ambitious environmental sustainability goals, the City of Helsinki founded the Circular Economy Cluster Program in 2021. To support the great demand for new information about circular economy in the construction sector, the Circular Economy Cluster Program serves as a development platform for testing and developing solutions that enable taking the circular leap. The Cluster brings together actors from within the city and the construction industry, co-develops circular solutions and processes, carries out real-life experiments and studies, and offers an informal space for knowledge exchange. Experiments and pilots are conducted on both city-owned development platforms, e.g., demolition sites and public spaces, and on privately owned premises. 

Keywords: Circular economy, Public-Private Partnership, Innovation, Experimentation.

Learning Spaces as Living Labs in Dutch River Management: Joint effort to improve river management through innovation

Heleen Vreugdenhil, Astrid Bout, Astha Bhatta, Jill Slinger

Heleen Vreugdenhil

Senior Researcher Deltares

Track: Green Transition

Problem statement: Rijkwaterstaat initiated in 2014 so-called Learning Spaces in the Dutch branches of the River Rhine (1,2). Learning Spaces are innovative forms of Living Labs as they are part of multi-year maintenance contracts between Rijkswaterstaat and a contractor, and in which knowledge institutes are invited to participate. Furthermore, the connection to the maintenance contract gives the living lab direct access to real-life challenges to be addressed and an experimental spaceThe aim of the living lab is to develop innovations improving efficiency and sustainability of river management.

Keywords: Innovation Team, Rhine, Operational Management, Quadruple Helix.

The Role of Policy in City-Region Food System Transformation: Evidence from Living Labs across Europe

Suzanne van Osch and Stella Archontaki

Stella Archontaki

Junior Researcher in the department of Environmental Economics of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Suzanne van Osch

Researcher in environmental economics at the Institute for Environmental Science (IVM) in Amsterdam

Track: Green Transition

Abstract: The rising need for system wide food system transformation is recognised across the nexus of environmental sustainability, human health, social justice, and economics. These pressures are most perceived in city-regions, where the complexity and effects of food systems are concentrated. Living Labs have started being developed as experimentation grounds for city region food system (CRFS) transformation. Yet, the role that local policy can play in the transformation process is unknown. This paper presents an assessment of CRFS labs across Europe, focusing on food stakeholders and policy actor perspectives to provide insight into policy initiatives, policy instruments and the factors influencing food transformation policies at city-level. In-depth semi-structured interviews with CRFS lab coordinators from thirteen city-regions across Europe capture the variation in characteristics of CRFS. Lessons are drawn on policy efforts and experimentation, which portrays the diversity of approaches and the power dynamics, local capacities, mandates, and priorities in urban (food) agendas. Mapping out responses to CRFS challenges demonstrates a transition from top-down to citizen-driven collaborative models where citizens, local governments and organisations play an increasing role in the development and implementation of transformative activities and policies. Findings also stress current gaps in cross-scale governance collaboration and highlight the need for adopting system thinking principles in the urban food governance discourse, moving away from monomeric responses to the calls for sustainability in CRFS.

Keywords: Living Lab, Policy Lab, Food Governance, Food System Transformation, City Region Food System (CRFS), Sustainability.