Top Papers selected by Evaluation Committee



Dr. Dimitri Schuurman

Top Rated Papers will be invited for publication on a Special Issue in a peer-reviewed journal and will also have a prime-time dedicated session at the conference.

  • Culture & creativity in times of disruptive change

  • Urban & Rural resilience

  • Health & WellBeing

  • Challenges for living labs

  • Digital Social Innovation

  • Living Labs for a greener future


In this session the chair of the DLLD scientific committee, Dr. Dimitri Schuurman, will introduce the 6 submissions which were selected by the committee as the most significant.

At the end of the session the voting for the Best Public Paper Award will be opened.

Scaling the voice of older adults – reflections on a needed co-design infrastructure for healthy ageing smart cities

by Ann Borda and Sonja Pedell

Track:  Full Research Paper

Topic: Health & Well Being


  • Smart cities
  • Wearable devices
  • Co-design
  • Healthy ageing

Abstract. This paper investigates barriers that need to be overcome to support a co-design infrastructure for creating smart cities for healthy ageing. The paper further reviews current literature and best practice approaches more broadly and presents our research on wearable device use for walkability in cities as a case study. We highlight the needs for a bottom up approach supported by governments and city planners and breaking up silos between wearable technology development, service design and smart city development. The paper concludes with recommendations.



Human Factors in Living Lab Research

by Nele De Witte, Leen Broeckx, Sacha Vermeylen, Vicky Van der Auwera and Tom Van Daele

Track:  Full Research Paper

Topic: Health & Well Being and Challenges for Living Labs


  • Human factors
  • Methodology
  • Living lab
  • Safety
  • Usability

Abstract Human factors research is still in its infancy in healthcare and other fields but has the potential to allow organisations and living labs to assess and improve the quality of innovations while closely involving potential end users. Human Factors can be defined as a scientific discipline focusing on the interaction between individuals and systems with the goal of improving safety, performance, and user acceptability. Studies simulating challenging real-life circumstances in selected samples and using a multi-method approach can provide important insights for organisations and governments and allow for better and safer services for the end user. By combining existing theory and case examples, the current paper aims to situate human factors research and to help researchers determine when and how this methodology could be applied. 



A closer look at the role of higher education in living labs: a scoping review

by Renée van den heuvel, Susy Braun, Manon De Bruin and Ramon Daniëls

Track:  Full Research Paper

TopicsChallenges for Living Labs


  • Living Lab

  • Higher education

  • Scoping review

  • Approaches

  • Definitions

  • Key elements

Abstract. As society changes fast, there is a need to educate professionals who contribute to innovation and complex adaptations in organizations. Companies, governmental bodies and other stakeholders seek collaboration on actual complex issues in living labs; user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on co-creation and integration of research and innovation processes in real life settings. Living labs are recognized as educational environments to prepare students in higher education for future roles thus knowledge regarding the optimal embeddedness of higher education in living labs is of importance. The aim of this article is to explore the nature and extent of the scientific literature about living labs in which actors in higher education actively participate. A scoping review was conducted. Based on 21 articles, it can be concluded that the research on embedding higher education successfully in living labs is at an early stage. More detailed studies into aspects of the successful participation of higher education is recommended to gain knowledge about enhancing learning outcomes, and the effects of educational activities (including assessments) within living lab environments.



Urban Living Labs: Pathways for Sustainability Transitions to Innovative City System from Circular Economy Perspective

by Diego Hernando Florez Ayala and Prof. Dr. Anete Alberton

Track:  Full Research Paper

Topic: Challenges for Living Labs and LL for a Greener Future


  •  Urban Living Labs
  • Sustainability Transitions
  • Circular Economy
  • Multiple Correspondence Analysis
  • Content Analysis

Abstract There is a growing trend to involve citizens in city development, to make urban areas more adaptable to citizen needs. Urban Living Labs (ULLs) are progressive transitions as an explicit form of intervention delivering sustainability goals for cities. We believe that the ULLs can be configured as a pathway for sustainability transitions (ST) to innovative city systems. Based on this statement, our question of this paper is: how could ULLs become pathways for ST to innovative city system from circular economy perspective? To attain this research question, our research design was divided in three steps: selection; multiple correspondence analysis; and content analysis coding process. As a result, the triangulation analysis based on these methods, we found that in the multiple correspondence analysis, and the content analysis of the articles emerged similar categories (pathways) such as: knowledge production, policy making, co-creation, geographical embeddedness, urban transitions, networks of cooperation among institutions, culture change, and collaborative engagement. When compared the results found by three different technics, we can see a pattern, a trend. This means that all of them are related to the same extent with the concepts of ST, CE, and ULLs.



The key role of a Living Lab in creating a blockchain-based digital ecosystem to support local businesses.

by Robert Bregy, Elena Marchiori and Jan Trautmann

Track: Practitioners Presentation

Topic: Urban & Rural Resilience


  • Living labs
  • Urban lab
  • Digital ecosystem
  • Blockchain, local marketing
  • Mobile app
  • Public administration
  • Pandemic crisis 

Abstract  In the context of the Covid-related emergency, many cities were faced with the need to manage access to public spaces in compliance with security measures. In particular, ensuring the contact tracing of users. At the same time, the ongoing pandemic crisis has highlighted the need for a digital presence of small and medium-sized businesses in order to be reached virtually by their customers. However, not all businesses have been prepared for this digital challenge and they risk becoming disadvantaged and damaged by this new market situation.

In this context, the City of Lugano in Switzerland, has created the MyLugano app: a free and currently functioning app available to citizens and guests of Lugano for: 

– booking and purchasing cultural, entertainment and sports events while ensuring contact tracing through the use of the app;  

– a point-based loyalty system (LVGA points) based on the blockchain technology integrated in the app. The new loyalty system is dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses active in the sales sector of the City of Lugano (i.e.: businesses, cultural, sports, service and leisure activities, etc.), and users (citizens and tourists) who both receive LVGA points for every expense done using the app. 

More info about the project: 



Investigating the diversity of urban collaborative experimentations and identifying major trends in qualitative case studies from four major Canadian cities

by Peyvand Forouzandeh

Track:  Research In Progress Paper

Topic: Challenges for Living Labs and Urban & Rural resilience


  • ULLs diversity
  • ULLs ecosystem
  • Visualization
  • Categorizing urban experimentations
  • Key enablers
  • Trends
  • Evaluation

Abstract Canadian Urban Living Labs (ULLs) are often created organically, forming diverse and distinct local models, networks, and methods of urban experimentation across the country. Although often labeled differently, many of these collaborative experimentations share the same characteristics with ULLs. The research question for this paper is: How is the diversity of the collaborative urban experimentations (ULLs) that focus on urban environmental sustainability in major Canadian cities and what are the main trends in the urban lab ecosystem? We investigate this question by studying 20 ULLs in a qualitative case study research from four major cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montréal. By conducting semi-structured interviews with the key informants of the labs as well as desk research from publicly available data on these organizations or labs, this research first provides a general evaluation of the current labs’ ecosystem in Canada that focus on urban environmental sustainability by using SWOT analysis. Next, it demonstrates that the model and structure of these labs can be categorized in 4 main groups and 8 sub-categories using various qualitative data. The research also suggests considering the categorization of these labs based on their key methodological and theoretical drivers (4 groups) and the main types of outcomes in organizations and labs (4 groups). Finally, we provide visualizations that illustrate these categorizations to identify the key trends and patterns in this variety