Applying an RRI filter in key learning on urban living labs' performance

Marina Van Geenhuizen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Urban living labs is a practical methodology in improving sustainability in cities by facilitating collaborative learning and innovation in a real-life environment, thereby mainly responding to the needs of users (citizens). The paper aims to filter a list of key learnings on urban living labs through the lens of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). One of the motivations is that key learnings on urban living labs are mainly derived from means-goal effectiveness (MGE) thinking while the urban setting calls for a broader perspective due to complexity and tension from the multi-actor, multifunctional, and multi-scalar character of cities. The filtering reveals almost 40 learnings as 'overlap' and 'exclusive for MGE'. Importantly, five learnings are identified as specific for RRI and potentially enriching living lab methodology: ethical and normative principles like health, safety, security, and equality between societal groups, and a wider distribution of benefits and risks of living lab outcomes, in particular, contradictory sustainability issues. The RRI filtering causes three practical implications: coping with uneven power distribution between stakeholders, limited feasibility of applying the comprehensive learning framework, and challenges of overarching platform structures enabling to better incorporate RRI concerns in living lab methodology. The findings as presented in an adapted list are new, as RRI values and concerns have seldom been applied to practical innovation and have never been explicitly applied to urban living labs' performance beyond the borders of effectiveness thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3833
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Filtering
  • Means-goal effectiveness
  • Responsible research and innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Urban living labs


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