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Towards New Forms of Urban Governance and City Development

Guidelines for urban laboratories

  • Project Meeting Leoben

The overarching aim of urb@exp is to develop evidence-based guidelines and design principles, in order to enhance the successful uptake of urban laboratories as new form of urban governance and contribute to improved governance of urban complexity.

The innovation component of this project primarily concerns the implementation of urban labs as an institutional innovation. Based on a review of urban lab experiences and action research in urban labs in five cities, the urb@exp team will develop guidelines, to further improve urban labs.

The guidelines will address the types of problems for which urban labs are most suited and how urban labs can best be organized and integrated into local government structures. The variety of contexts (five cities from Northern and Central Europe) is important for drawing robust conclusions from a joint and comparative analysis of all urban lab experiments and will enhance the credibility of the resulting guidelines.

The guidelines will be disseminated to urban policymakers, including design principles, generic methods, guidance notes on the use and combination of methods, and illustrative and inspiring case-studies of successful implementations and innovation outcomes.

The potential users of the guidelines are urban policymakers interested in new forms of governance and urban lab practitioners. Given that the guidelines will (in part) be based on urban lab experiments in medium-large sized cities in North-, Western- and Central-Europe, the group of potential users may be limited to the pool of similar cities in the EU (counting several hundred cities). Another consideration is the current number of Living Labs and City Labs in the EU, which is also at least several hundred.