Urban Living Labs: A living lab way of working

Kris Steen, Ellen van Bueren

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Urban living labs have become a popular phenomenon in today’s cities. The Living Lab approach would provide real life research with its multiple stakeholders in a co-innovating inclusive setting, crucial in creating metropolitan solutions with impact, that will be adopted smoothly and swiftly by all involved, and thus help achieve prosperous living environments that are more liveable, sustainable, resilient and just. With these ambitions, urban living labs are important links in the achievement of the goals of AMS Institute as well as the City of Amsterdam. But what exactly are urban living labs?
The aim of the research was to develop a methodology to facilitate systematic achievement of the living lab goals and ambitions in practice. How do urban living labs work? How can they contribute to a more sustainable environment? And how can you set up a successful urban living lab?
Based on a literature review of living labs and urban living labs and a quick scan of 90 local innovation projects in the Amsterdam region, defining characteristics of urban living labs have been identified.Also the core methodological components of urban living labs have been distilled from proposed living lab methodologies and process aspects repetitively referred to in urban living lab literature. In-depth case studies of the innovation processes of innovations that have emerged in living labs in Amsterdam have been conducted to research how urban living labs work in practice. This has led to conditions that have shown to be necessary for allowing successful emergence, implementation and replication of innovations in urban context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS)
Number of pages95
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017


  • urban living labs
  • experimentation
  • innovation
  • method


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