Friday, 4 May 2018

GUST brings wind of change

The Governance of Urban Sustainability Transitions (GUST) project was established to examine, inform and advance the governance of sustainability transitions through urban living labs. The findings can help address many of the economic, social and environmental concerns of the 21st century. Read the impact article here

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Urban Living Labs: Experimenting with City Futures

An edited book on urban living labs from the GUST team is on the way! Read more


All cities face a pressing challenge – how can they provide economic prosperity and social cohesion while achieving environmental sustainability? In response, new collaborations are emerging in the form of urban living labs – sites devised to design, test and learn from social and technical innovation in real time. The aim of this volume is to examine, inform and advance the governance of sustainability transitions through urban living labs. Notably, urban living labs are proliferating rapidly across the globe as a means through which public and private actors are testing innovations in buildings, transport and energy systems. Yet despite the experimentation taking place on the ground, we lack systematic learning and international comparison across urban and national contexts about their impacts and effectiveness. We have limited knowledge on how good practice can be scaled up to achieve the transformative change required. This book brings together leading international researchers within a systematic comparative framework for evaluating the design, practices and processes of urban living labs to enable the comparative analysis of their potential and limits. It provides new insights into the governance of urban sustainability and how to improve the design and implementation of urban living labs in order to realise their potential.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Experimental Governance: The Role of Municipalities in Urban Living Labs

New open access article from GUST on the role of municipalities in designing and developing urban living labs! Read the article here

Innovations in urban governance such as Urban Living Labs (ULL) are expected to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable and climate-resilient cities. This article reviews different ULL across Europe and explores the role and potential capacity of municipalities in the development of and/or facilitation of ULL as a form of experimental governance. It focuses on the role of the public sector in the multi-actor collaborations that often characterize experimental governance. The article draws on literature on cities in sustainability, climate and environmental governance, and bridges this with political science literature on governance. Based on institutional theory that emphasizes roles, identities, and perceived and actual acting space, three functional roles for the municipality are singled out – promoter, enabler and partner – in a framework with a set of indicators that are used to analyse 50 case studies of ULL. The aim is to advance knowledge on how municipalities can facilitate urban sustainability through experimental governance.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Urban Living Labs and the Role of Users in Co-Creation

New open access article from GUST on the role of co-creation in urban living labs! Read the article here

Urban living labs (ULLs) offer opportunities to foster sustainability in cities. They are sites to design, test and learn from innovation in real time. A key element in the operation and success of ULLs is user involvement. Users are often viewed as co-creators who shape ULL outcomes by contributing with their knowledge and experi ence. The transformative potential of ULLs for sustainability is often interconnected with user participation. Despite its importance, user involvement in ULLs remains a practical challenge that is also understudied. In this article, we examine how ULLs engage in a participatory methodology that facilitates co-creation with users, and discuss the link between user involvement and the transformative potential of ULLs. While co-creation is a cornerstone of the ULL concept, we also show that a combination of different user participation levels in different stages of the ULL life cycle has a potential to enhance the outcomes and transformative potential of ULLs. User involvement plays a positive role in realising the transformative potential of ULLs for sustainability, but governance structure, leadership and power distribution are also important factors for ULLs to become transformative.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

GUST at the Urban Future Global Conference

Timo von Wirth from the GUST team invited as a keynote speaker at the Urban Future Global Conference in Vienna, Austria. The talk presented the concept of urban living labs and key findings from GUST. Read more

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Merry Christmas from GUST

Check out all the publications from GUST in 2017! A handbook on urban living labs, policy briefs, journal articles, project reports and news pieces. In 2018, GUST will publish an edited book and a special issue. GUST will also publish a collection of articles on urban living labs looking at the role of municipalities, the impact of urban living labs, and a typology.

Friday, 6 October 2017

GUST in the news

Read all about the GUST handbook on urban living labs and the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Sustainable Cities that features the GUST project and contains films and readings on urban living labs. Read more