During the Urban Living Lab Summit, held on June 22nd, a broad spectrum of participants converged in an online setting, representing researchers, city officials, citizens, companies, and students.

During the Summit the following topics were addressed:

  • What tools can be used for designing, measuring impact, collaborating, and learning within Living Labs?
  • How have these tools been proven helpful for living labs to reach their goals?
  • What are lessons/insights that have been learned by living lab practitioners during the COVID-19 crisis?

The Summit started with a three-fold plenary session, addressing urban experimentation, formalization and standardization, and process tools and their value. First, we gained insight into why urban experiments are beneficial for a sustainable society, as well as what their outcomes and impacts are. Second, participants learned how formalization and standardization could benefit the field of living labs through the creation of a knowledge and training hub for living labs, facilitating research and identifying multi-stakeholder process issues. Lastly, the AMS Institute’s living lab approach was detailed, showing the difference between field labs, scientific research labs, urban living labs and meta-labs.

Further, we addressed challenges faced by living lab practitioners. In these 8 sessions, we addressed innovative collaboration methods between government institutions and industry partners, as well as accountability and safeguarding IP in these partnerships. Additionally, we discussed how living labs can generate revenue and become self-sustained. Attendees also learned ways to stay future-proof, secure and compliant with regulations regarding GDPR and privacy, while gaining the public trust. As we have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, we also discussed how we can engage citizens and stakeholders during such times, as well as how to collaborate and communicate results.
Please see the descriptions of the challenge discussions here.

The attendees took part in 7 interactive workshops and used tools designed for helping living labs reach their goals. During these, we looked at ways to co-create a distributing living lab and favor cross-city learning, during two of the workshops. Another showed how challenge-based applications can be used for developing living labs. In addition, participants gained insights into how to use the theory of change as a tool for designing activities, measuring change and collaborating. Designing and building living labs was also addressed by a multi-tool, the Urban Living Lab Canvas. This was used by participants, who brought a living lab idea until a go/no-go decision regarding whether to build such an initiative. In order to have successful living labs, monitoring is key. We also explored, in a separate workshop, what exactly we want to monitor if we monitor urban living labs.
Please see the descriptions of the tool workshops here.

During the discussions and workshops, facilitators and participants interacted and worked together in “very interesting sessions during which they exchanged ideas and experiences”. These sessions were “animated and insightful”, co-creative and eye-opening, as pointed out by participants in the feedback session!

Participants established topics to be further addressed in co-creation by the community of living lab practitioners:
- Formalizing living lab process tools and methods
- A global benchmark and/or certification body for methods and/or practitioners
- Scientific research into comparing urban experimentation methods, issues and success factors
Please contact us for engaging in addressing these together!

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Urban Living Lab Summit 2021, which will be a two-day on June 21-22, 2021!
In the meantime, please check out the AMS Institute’s Summer School on the topic of Urban Living Labs.

Looking to collaborate or want to know more about living labs?