Boundary conditions for successful Urban Living Labs

Urban Living Labs are development environments that integrate residents and other stakeholders to develop and test new solutions in their daily life. The users of the new services or solutions are active partners in the whole development process, which happens in the real urban context. Urban Living Labs utilize various co-design methods for understanding the needs, generating solution ideas, presenting ideas and evaluating the solutions in practice. In addition, citizen participation methods are used for participation in decision making and taking action.

Key success factors for Urban Living Labs are the early and continuous involvement of the affected people, clear goals and expectations, and acting instead of discussing. The methods must be adapted to the goals and participants. At its best, people can participate in the Urban Living Lab activities as a part of their other activities and see the effects of their participation shortly afterwards.

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