Case studies

Here is brief descriptions of the GUST case studies of urban living labs, focusing on examples from Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and the UK.

Malmö Innovation Platform - Malmö, Sweden
The Malmö Innovation Platform brings together creative forces in business, academia and the community to build a joint innovation capacity in the renovation of existing apartment buildings in Malmö. The aim is to use physical regeneration as a motor for socio-economic development and jobs, long-term environmental goals and business opportunities.

Living Lab UbiGo - Gothenburg, Sweden 
Between Nov 2013 and Apr 2014, some 71 households in Gothenburg tested a fully integrated mobility service called UbiGo. It combines public transport, car-sharing, rental car service, taxi and a bicycle system, in one app and on one user invoice every month. The basic set-up is a prepaid use and earning bonus for sustainable choices. For every kg of CO2 saved (compared to if the trip was made by a private car), the users get bonus points to buy services or products from UbiGo partners (e.g. a bike service, home delivery, health clubs, concerts). The majority of the users are satisfied or very satisfied with the service, and 3 of 4 have enjoyed it. Almost 80% of participants in UbiGo test phase stated they definitely wanted to continue using it.

Future by Lund - Lund, Sweden 
Future by Lund is an innovation culture where academia and industry come together to solve global challenges with products and services for future sustainable cities. It connects players in an open innovation process. The focus is on three challenges for tomorrow’s cities: Mobility, smart energy systems, and lighting and illumination. It operates in Lund, a creative, fun environment for testing and evaluating smart sustainable innovations, such as investment and construction projects.

Stapeln Open Maker-Space - Malmö, Sweden 
Stapeln (Stpln) is a cultural house that hosts a co-working facility, a venue for performing arts, a space for exhibitions, performances and workshops and several do-it-yourself-workshops for textile printing, sewing, carpentry, digital production, bicycle service and construction, and creative reuse/recycling of waste materials from industry. It is targeted at people active within the arts, technology/innovation, design education or crafts. In most cases, one may use Stpln for free, but in return one pays with one’s time and knowledge. The building, where Stpln operates, is owned by the City of Malmö, which also provides main financial support. Stpln provides new solutions for work and leisure for all citizen groups in Malmö, which would encourage more sustainable lifestyles among citizens, enhance social cohesion, allow for new ways of interaction, learning and exchange of skills.

VIsion Step I - Villach, Austria 
The project "VIsion Step I" is to represent the first step of implementing "Smart City Villach". The objective of the project is to develop a comprehensive and integrated Smart City concept in a district of Villach. "VIsion Step I" is aiming to increase the overall energy efficiency in the test area and advance the expansion of local production of renewable energy, combine highly developed technological access with a comprehensive integration of local stakeholders and should act as "generic cell" whose innovative conception can be transferred to other urban settlements at the national and European level.

Smart City Graz - Graz, Austria 
As long-term trends show a continuous growth of population in the city of Graz and communities in the urban hinterland, there is a need of the development of areas focused on existing settlements (settlement focus), where the best in infrastructure provision is either already available or where this infrastructure is planned due to the favorable conditions. Due to Graz’s topographic location in a basin, the city faces considerable climatic challenges. Thus the concept revolves around the low-emission, resource-saving and energy-efficient "Smart City Graz" that aims to be implemented in the city of Graz.

Lakecity Aspern Vienna - Vienna, Austria 
Aspern, "Vienna’s Urban Lakeside", is not only one of the largest urban development projects in Europe but also home to one of Austria’s largest smart city projects: "Smart Cities Demo Aspern (SCDA)". This project also investigates different types of energy behaviour. Energy use and density are highest in cities. Vienna’s Aspern development aims to be a model of high-efficiency and low-impact cities of tomorrow. An education campus, a student residence, and a housing complex will become a test-bed for energy-efficient cities.

E-Mobility Graz - Graz, Austria 
The goal is to optimize the city transport systems by the establishment of a smart systematic mobility. It will be reached by providing a range of mobility services, including: free charging current and supply of green electricity; combined e-mobility with bus, train and tram; free parking slots in the city of Graz for electric cars; interoperable landing sites management through operator software and platforms; interoperable e-car-rental-platform; and e-mobility for residential buildings (e.g. e-car sharing systems, awareness building; establishment of charging currents close to residential buildings).

Veerkracht Carnisse - Rotterdam, the Netherlands 
Transition lab for social innovation and integral collaboration. A partnership is trying out new methods, practices and experiments in the field of neighborhood development, poverty reduction, pedagogical support, educational innovation, urban gardening, co-creation, and democracy. It is an experimental setting where welfare professionals, teachers, students, researchers, gardeners, volunteers, residents and civil servants are testing these practices.

Concept House Village - Rotterdam, the Netherlands 
Concept House Village Lab is a test-bed for sustainable building technologies and new building retrofitting approaches in the Heijplaat area of the city of Rotterdam. The spatial focus is not only on being a user oriented test-environment for building practices but also for sustainable are development. It is a place, where innovative houses, products and systems are tested with and by the occupants. The occupant is seen as key in designing, the development and using the houses. Two knowledge institutions, the building industry, branch organizations, the local community and at a later stage also the municipality of Rotterdam joined into an experiment of constructing and living in newly built prototype houses and of renovating some of the existing houses in a mixed use neighborhood.

Bluecity Lab 010 - Rotterdam, the Netherlands 
Bluecity Lab is an urban living lab in the city of Rotterdam, located at an iconic site in the former Tropicana indoor swimming pool since 2015. The purpose of BlueCity Lab is to be a platform for the Circular Economy. Being a platform for innovative approaches to enhanced material flows is established by providing spaces for co-creation and co-working, hosting (waste free) events and meetings as well as offering lectures, hack parties and space for experimentation including a real wet and dry laboratory. This urban living lab particularly aims at facilitating trials and demonstration projects for successful business models of the Circular Economy. As a whole, the BlueCity Lab is supposed to develop into an example of the circular city of the future that has no equal yet elsewhere in the world.

DakAkker - Rotterdam, the Netherlands
On top of the Schieblock office building in the center of Rotterdam the largest rooftop-farm in Europe is situated. It is called the DakAkker. Here fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown and honey bees are kept. The DakAkker functions as a test site to experiment with different ways of green-roofs and farming in the city. The DakAkker was created in 2012.

Newcastle Science Central - Newcastle, UK 
Newcastle Science City partnership was formed in 2005 after a national government’s endorsement of "Science City" status. The partnership currently focuses its resources on Newcastle Science Central – a regenerated urban quarter for research, innovations, and collaboration. An overarching research vision developed within the university – "digitally enabled urban sustainability" – has been brought to the entire site development and become a new strategic focus of the site that integrates interdisciplinary research features into the local economic agenda. The concept of urban living labs has been applied in the site to develop solutions for future energy, transport and city planning with smart infrastructure.

MK: Smart - Milton Keynes, UK 
Milton Keynes was one of the 30 cities that were shortlisted in the competition to be Innovate UK’s Future Cities Demonstrator with associated funding of £24 million. It used the £50,000 provided to submit a feasibility study for "Future-Ready MK" in 2012. When its bid was unsuccessful, MK: Smart was initiated in 2014. There is a particular focus on the urban smart elements of making good use of city/citizen-generated data. Key environmental objectives cover the transport, energy and water sectors with a heavy information/data focus. The most striking aspects of this urban living lab are its connection with the enterprise ecosystem in the city, the engagement of citizens in its "Citizen Labs", and the educational components, including technical teaching kits, a postgraduate certificate and educational programmes for SMEs and business students.

Manor House PACT - London, UK
PACT, which stands for Prepare Adapt Connect Thrive, is a multi-partner initiative to help deal with the potential impact of climate change and build the sustainability and resilience of the local community. It seeks to strengthen social networks and empower the community to live more sustainably; create new economic opportunities for local people within a green economy; and improve physical, emotional and mental health. It does this through a range of activities: home energy visits, fuel poverty advice, gardening, communal cooking and eating, nature/foraging walks, community events, training, volunteering opportunities, and support for seeking employment.

Sum Studios - Sheffield, UK 
Sum Studios is bringing together arts, business and community in three sustainably restored Victorian school buildings (Council-owned and under long term lease to Heeley Development Trust). The project is being undertaken in three phases with the most revenue-generating phase being developed first in order to build assets (financial and reputational) for the others. The building housing the artist studios and craft workshops will be redeveloped next and the final phase will be the community space. Sum Studios is also embedded in the broader sustainable community economic development process of the Heeley Development Trust, which has created interesting green space and a very successful bike repair/recycling enterprise and digital training programme, as well as an annual festival and other community building events.