Urban & Societal Challenges papers

Chairs 

Prof. Dr. Pieter Ballon & Carina Veeckman

This track presents Living Lab research and practices that specifically deal with urban or societal innovation. This includes research & cases on Urban Living Labs & Smart Cities, but also broader regional and (inter-)national approaches & issues such as sustainability, resilience, behavioural change, environment justice, inclusion, …

Piloting an autonomous shuttle in the Brussels Capital Region

by Wim Vanobberghen, Evy Rombaut, Manon Feys

Category:  Full Research Paper

Keywords: 

  • autonomous shuttles
  • user acceptance
  • urban living lab
  • urban mobility
  • co-design
  • shared public transport

Abstract: Pilots with autonomous shuttles are expanding in Europe and worldwide. They most
of the time are either connecting the first or last mile to a public transport station or are serving
different stops in a dedicated area like a university campus or a business park. Despite an
emerging literature on user acceptance of autonomous shuttles, not much insights are publicly
available about how end user tests have been undertaken in practice. By providing insights
gathered by applying a Living Lab approach to an autonomous shuttle pilot in the Brussels
Capital Region, this paper aims first to inform living lab practitioners and city authorities about
eight insights learned with involving end users and stakeholders in the service design and in the
testing of the autonomous shuttle. Especially a need for doing research that has an holistic view
on all road users to research human interactions is necessary. Secondly the paper investigates
the user acceptance of the autonomous shuttle in the Brussels Capital Region by students and
other road users. In this way the paper contributes to ongoing research on general worldwide
trends while highligting particular local context. Although the pilot is modest in relation to other
current European projects, the paper finally argues that such pilots are especially relevant in
cities such as Brussels where tests with autonomous vehicles are only emerging. Besides
providing a concrete area where actors get experience with the new mobile technology, such a
place is an excellent demonstration and awareness raising site that can trigger local reflections
on autonomous shuttles in the future shared electric and autonomous urban mobility landscape.

Urban Living Labs, Circular Economy and Nature-based solutions. 'New Soil' as common ground

by Federico Cuomo, Grazia Sveva Ascione, Nicole Mariotti

Category:  Full Research Paper

Keywords: 

  • Circular Economy
  • Urban Living Lab
  • Nature-based solutions
  • New Soil
  • sustainable
    transition
  • Turin

Abstract. In the attempt to foster circular practices, cities are increasingly adopting Urban Living Labs (ULLs) as tools of co-production to host alternative solutions based on reuse of products, reduction of consumption and recycling of materials. Looking up to this approach, the Municipality of Turin joined proGIreg, a European project aiming to regenerate former industrial neighborhoods through ULLs of Nature-based solutions (NBS). From aquaponics culture to green roofs, NBS rely on the use of natural sources to tackle with social, economic and environmental challenges in an efficient and sustainable way. Among the seven NBS experimented in Turin, the most promising is related to the production and use of the ‘New Soil’, a blend obtained mixing earth materials coming from construction sites with compost, zeolites and mycorrhizae. Nonetheless, the unique governance configuration which enabled it as well as its actual potentialities on the market are hardly problematized, hence losing the possibility to reproduce the results in other cities. Our contribution aims to fill this gap by: (I) tracing back how the ULL in Turin created the governance conditions to experiment new soil and (II) providing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the new soil. Thorough these, we offer a practical case study of how ULL can lead to find out new promising products to transition towards Circular Economy

Higher education institutions in living lab networks to tackle grand challenges. A systematic literature review and directions for future research

by Hacer Tercanli

Category:  Research-in-progress

Keywords: 

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Abstract. 

Living labs for the urban commons

by Joachim Meerkerk, Julie Ferguson, John Grin

Category:  Research-in-progress

Keywords: 

  • experimental learning
  • collaborative governance
  • urban commons

Abstract. 

 

Urban consumption spaces as living labs

by Julie Ferguson, Karoline Wiegerink, Stan Majoor

Category: Research-in-progress

Keywords: 

  • city hospitality
  • urban consumption spaces
  • connectedness 
  • value pyramid
  • urban commons

Abstract. 

Urban Living Labs Problematising the Lab-City-Interface

by Birk Diener

Category:  Research-in-progress

Keywords: 

  • urban living labs
  • laboratory studies
  • action research
  • urban sustainability transition

Abstract. Urban living labs are based on a distinction between inside and outside. Outside is the unsustainable, complex and unique city. Inside is the controlled laboratory that ensures the validity of experiments and the absence of consequences. This article draws on laboratory studies to argue that the success of urban living labs depends on whether the laboratory actors manage to overcome the boundary between the inside and outside of the lab and deploys an action research approach to study how urban living lab projects undertake this mediation between city and laboratory. Through this the article aims to introduce a perspective that connects micro and macro level studies of urban living labs.

Birk Diener

Researcher-practitioner

Engaging the wider ecosystem

by Kaisa Spilling, Annamaria Rossi

Category:  Practitioners papers

Keywords: 

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Abstract.