Urban living labs and the urgency for transformation: a contradiction?


Wednesday 21 September
17.30 – 19.00



Sala Duomo


The urgency to radically transform our cities to address the challenges of our time has never been more pressing. Transformations are needed right now to ensure the planet is inhabitable to humans and other species after 2050.

However, in the last decade, we witnessed that ‘simple’ and quick solutions to complex urban issues are not adequate, while experimental methods and urban living labs have become popular to work out answers to urban challenges in co-creative ways– rightly so!

People have discovered the power of open innovation to transform their cities.
In urban living labs, they experiment and co-create on a variety of pressing issues.
However, experimentation takes time, efforts and an open mindset and is everything but a plug in and play product.

How can we approach the dilemma of the urgency to transform urban areas rapidly towards areas of just sustainability while addressing it in all its complexity? Or is it actually a dilemma after all?

What governance systems are required to deal with this complexity on the hand side and the urgency to transform on the other?