Towards a Learning System for University Campuses as Living Labs for Sustainability

L. A. Verhoef, M. Bossert, J. Newman, F. Ferraz, Z. P. Robinson, Y. Agarwala, Paul J. Wolff, P. Jiranek, C. Hellinga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Universities, due to their sizeable estates and populations of staff and students, as well as their connections with, and impact within, their local and wider communities, have significant environmental, social and economic impacts. There is a strong movement for universities to become leaders in driving society towards a more sustainable future, through improving the sustainability of the built environment and the universities’ practices and operations, and through their educational, research and wider community engagement missions. Around the globe the concept of ‘Living Labs’ has emerged as an instrument to integrate these different aspects to deliver sustainability improvements, through engaging multiple stakeholders in all of these areas, and through the co-creation of projects to improve the sustainability of the campus environment and operations, and to link these to the education, research, and wider community missions of the institution. This chapter describes a living, shared framework and methodology, the ‘Campus as Living Lab’ learning system, created through global participatory workshops and Living Lab literature, aimed at supporting universities and their Sustainability (Coordinating) Offices in the development and monitoring of Living Lab projects. The framework includes seven categories of supportive data collection and three levels of details to meet different requirements of potential users. The Living Lab framework presented in this chapter, aims to create value and help universities maximise the benefit of Living Lab projects within an institution, support monitoring, reflection and learning from projects, and facilitate communication with stakeholders, and the sharing of practices and learning between peers across the globe. As a living shared, framework and learning system, the framework will adapt and develop over time and within different contexts. To provide feedback and fast (practical) learning from users, the system will be further developed to facilitate transparent peer reviewing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development
Subtitle of host publicationSupporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Amanda Lange Salvia, Rudi W. Pretorius, Luciana Londero Brandli, Evangelos Manolas, Fatima Alves, Ulisses Azeiteiro, Judy Rogers, Chris Shiel, Arminda Do Paco
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-15604-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-15603-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameWorld Sustainability Series
ISSN (Print)2199-7373
ISSN (Electronic)2199-7381


  • Co-creation
  • Living labs
  • University sustainability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards a Learning System for University Campuses as Living Labs for Sustainability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this