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The CASUAL project will explore how to promote sustainable living and consumption patterns by engaging people, as citizens and consumers, along with other urban development actors in the governance of urban areas. This will be done by focusing on the intersections between the built environment and technical elements where individual preferences influence sustainability (e.g. choice of transport modes and related mobility patterns, housing preferences and lifestyles).

The project will develop new forms of inclusive urban planning in complex urban governance systems by exploring the urban living lab concept to assess its scope, feasibility and robustness regarding the mobilisation and integration of various stakeholders. The major goal of the project is to create and manage two ‘Urban Living Labs’ at the neighbourhood level in Vienna and Stockholm to generate innovative ideas and scenarios for sustainable urban development.

Citizen and consumer behaviour have a tremendous impact on resource consumption. The choice each individual and community makes, and the reasons behind those choices, is reflected in the resources consumed. Despite this, much of the debate around urban governance and planning is still centred on developing the built environment and technical infrastructure (such as transport systems, district heating, sewage systems, and ICT applications) for creating attractive living environments and economically viable urban areas. To inform the work in the urban living labs, three background case studies examining three closely related topics will be carried out: (i) transit-oriented development and travel behaviour (The Netherlands); (ii) mobility patterns and lifestyles (Austria); and (iii) housing re-development and preferences (Sweden).

To achieve the project aims, an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on the co-creation of knowledge through the active engagement with citizens, politicians, planners, developers and other actors with a key stake in urban development will be adopted.



‘Giving citizens a say in the urban planning process’

CASUAL: ‘With the name CASUAL we try to capture the essence of what we want to achieve with our project. CASUAL focusses on placing people back at the centre of sustainable urban planning; how to make cities a more ‘CASUAL’, in creating a general ‘quality of life’ and contributing to a certain ‘relaxing environment’ in citizen’s daily lives. Our critique is that the responsible actors and institutions in urban planning are still too much concerned with what they think is a sustainable and good neighbourhood without really sensing what citizens feel would actually be beneficial to their ‘quality of life’…read more


Budget: 1,210,000 EUR
Length of project: 36 months



Dr. P. Schmitt
Nordic Centre for
Spatial Development (SE)

: peter.schmitt@nordregio.se
T: +46 8 463 54 18
Lukas Smas
Dr. L. Smas
Nordic Centre for Spatial
Development (SE)

: lukas.smas@nordregio.se
T: +46 8 463 5425


  • Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (OIR)
  • TUDelft – Delft University of Technology