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Research project in Human Geography

Project's title: URB @ Exp - Towards new forms of urban governance and city development: learning from URBan Experiments with Living Labs & City Labs 

Project's duration: 2014-2017

Contact person: Eric Clark

Researchers in the project:


European cities face economic, social and environmental challenges of growing complexity. In response, new forms of governance are called for, including urban labs (Living Labs and City Labs). Policymakers and urban development stakeholders struggle to implement urban labs and seek guidance for further development. Evidence-based guidelines and design principles are needed concerning types of challenges for which urban labs are most suited, how urban labs can best be organized in terms of structure, process, and participation, and how urban labs can best be integrated into local government structures.

URB@Exp aims to develop such guidelines in order to enhance successful uptake of this innovative form of urban governance, thereby contributing to improved governance of urban complexity, for creating more sustainable, inclusive, attractive, and economically viable cities. The approach consists of three steps: (1) literature review and analysis of experiences of urban labs, (2) action research in urban lab experiments in five European cities based on concepts of transition experiments and participatory design, and (3) interurban exchange, learning, synthesis and dissemination of lessons.

The URB@Exp consortium has direct access to diverse urban lab experiments, bringing together policymakers and civil society actors committed to learning, and academics with relevant interdisciplinary and synergistic expertise.
The Swedish contribution to URB@Exp is supported by FORMAS.

Project's website is under construction.

Project's temporary website