Welcome to the urban living labs wiki!

This wiki is dedicated to gathering, developing and sharing knowledge and experiences of urban living labs - sites devised to design, test and learn from social and technical innovation in real time and real places. This wiki is supported by the Governance of Urban Sustainability Transitions (GUST) project funded by JPI Urban Europe and the Advancing Urban Innovation project funded by FORMAS.

The Western Harbour in Malmö, Sweden.

Today, over 50% of the global population lives in cities, and the number of urban residents grows by 60 million each year (United Nations, 2014). The urban population is projected to increase by another 2.5 billion in 2050 and constitute 66% of the global population (United Nations, 2014). While 90% of the future urban growth is predicted to take place in Asia and Africa, in Europe around 75% of the population already lives in urban areas and this number is expected to increase to 80% by 2020 (European Commission, 2014). Urbanisation trends are likely to lead to even further deterioration of natural resources, aggravation of climate change and other environmental problems, as well as pose social challenges such as poverty, inequality and segregation.

In response to these challenges, different forms of urban governance are being developed and tested in cities. Urban living labs constitute a form of experimental governance, whereby urban stakeholders develop and test new technologies and ways of living to address the challenges of climate change and urban sustainability. For cities trying to position themselves as innovation leaders in the race to decarbonise and become sustainable, urban living labs are both high profile statements of intent and increasingly essential vehicles to secure funding for sustainable urban development. For funding bodies and governments, they offer a way to encourage cities to adopt innovative solutions. Urban living labs are appearing across Europe and the world.