STS - conferences, IST2012

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Advancing Sustainable Urban Transformation through Living Labs
Kes McCormick, Maria Hellström Reimer, Elisabet Nillson

Last modified: 2012-03-27


The Öresund Region, which covers Southern Sweden and Eastern Denmark, aims to be a regional ‘powerhouse’ in Europe for sustainability, innovation and clean-tech. It therefore provides a laboratory by which to experiment, implement, examine and evaluate the progress of transition governance and infrastructural investments. The Urban Transitions project (2011-2014) is a cross-border cooperation between Swedish and Danish partners (including academic institutions, local governments, regional authorities, and clean-tech businesses) in the Öresund Region to evaluate and improve collaborative efforts to promote sustainable urban transformation. The working approach is the analysis of case studies – encompassing existing and planned buildings and districts in the Öresund Region – from which essential lessons are being extracted and subsequently tested on further projects in order to obtain general lessons. Importantly, the case studies from the Öresund Region are being supplemented by research on international experiences with a particular focus on Living Labs, which can be simply described as a concept to integrate research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership. The purpose of this paper is to present the Urban Transitions project (including the partners, objectives, working methods and preliminary findings) in the context of transition governance, to provide an overview of Living Labs in Europe that are working with sustainability, innovation and clean-tech, and to discuss how the concept of Living Labs can be applied to advance sustainable urban transformation in the Öresund Region and beyond.