European cities face a pressing challenge to provide economic prosperity and social cohesion while achieving environmental sustainability.

GUST was active between 2014-2017, as a part of the JPI Urban Europe Pilot Call II. The aim of the GUST project was to examine, inform and advance the governance of sustainability transitions through urban living labs, which are proliferating across Europe as a means for testing innovations in buildings, transport and energy systems.

Results and outcomes

The Emerging Landscape of Urban Living Labs: Characteristics, Practices and Examples

This handbook aims to bring open innovation and co-creation to urban policy makers and change agents in Europe and beyond, by offering an introduction into the basic concepts and principles in urban living labs. In addition, this handbook provides examples of good practices and guidace on the design, operation and evaluation of urban living labs. While this handbook is targeted at actors planning or launching participatory activities related to urban planning or other development projects in urban contexts, focusing on municipalities, housing companies and universities, it can be equally relevant for private companies, and civil society and organisations active in cities.

You can read the full handbook here.

Urban Living Labs: Experimenting with City Futures

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.

In response, new ‘living labs’ – sites devised to design, test and learn from social and technical innovation in real time – are being formed. Individual cases have been studied, but limited work has been done to understand how they work across different national contexts and how we can scale-up their impact or share lessons across European cities. This project brings together leading European research partners and practitioners to investigate urban living labs and enhance their potential for contributing to sustainability transitions.

The book can be ordered as paperback, hardback or e-book via this link.

Interested in more results and outcomes from the GUST project? Visit their website.




GUST – Governance of urban sustainability transitions: advancing the role of living labs
Duration: 2014–2017
Contact: Kes McCormick, Lund University
Budget: 1.429.939 EUR
Partners: Durham University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Joanneum Research, Lund University




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