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Towards new forms of urban governance and city development: learning from urban experiments with living labs & city labs

Funding: Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe
Amount of Funding: € 1.367.066,-
Duration: 09/2014 - 08/2017
Lead partner: Maastricht University
Partners: City of Maastricht; University of Lund; University of Malmö; City of Malmö; University of Graz - RCE Graz-Styria; Stadt Graz; Stadt Leoben; City of Antwerp; Pantopicon Antwerp
Lead: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Friedrich M. Zimmermann


European cities face economic, social and environmental challenges of growing complexity. In response, new forms of governance for sustainable solutions are called for, including urban labs (Living labs and City Labs). Policymakers and urban development stakeholders struggle to implement urban labs and seek guidance for further development. Evidence-based guidelines and design principles are needed concerning types of challenges for which urban labs are most suited, how urban labs can best be organized in terms of structure, process and participation, and how urban labs can best be integrated into local government structures.

URB@Exp developed such guidelines in order to enhance successful uptake of this innovative form of urban governance, thereby contributing to improved governance of urban complexity, for creating more sustainable, inclusive, attractive, and economically viable cities. The approach consists of three steps: (1) literature Review and analysis of experiences of urban labs, (2) action research in urban lab experiments in five European cities based on concepts of Transition experiments and participatory design, and (3) interurban exchange, learning, synthesis and dissemination of lessons.


RCE Graz-Styria – Centre for Sustainable Social Transformation
Heinrichstrasse 18, 3rd floor 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8895


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