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Meta-Tool: Urban Living Labs

Urban living labs are new formats of agile and innovative planning in which a strong co-creation & cooperation with companies, research institutions, the public sector and citizens take place. It involves different phases of development to reach the final solution, based on a specific challenge. There is a vast literature on urban living labs, and a myriad of examples from the ground worldwide, especially in Europe, but also in Latin America and Asia.  


Exploring some urban (living) labs approaches as well as brainstorming possible use cases in current participants’ cities.


Step 1:  

Divide the participants in small groups of 2 to 3 persons, ideally putting together those working on the same or similar types of projects. Provide them with the weblinks to the following toolboxes 


Step 2: 

Allow about 45 to 60 minutes for this step. 

The participants should now browse through the toolboxes in their small groups and be guided by the following questions:  

  • In which context and with whom could this tool be useful for my work?  
  • How would I implement the tool, and would it need any adaptations to my specific context?  
  • What is the desired outcome? What do I need to do to take if forward?  

In the end, one to three tools should be selected, and the group members should discuss their implementation in more detail. 

 It is helpful if they are made aware that they should first get a general overview of the toolkits before looking at individual tools in more detail. 


Step 3: 

In line with the guiding questions, each group should now present one tool that they would like to use in their work. 



If there is a high level of interest in using the tools in practice, you can prepare and schedule a deep-dive session.  

Tools 1 and 5 are freely available and can be offered in a step-by-step approach.  


2 hours, in detailed setting, at least one day


Inspiration from urban living labs approaches and specific ideas of how to use the tool in a specific context.


Several as listed in materials and links above.