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UT Panel at European Week of Regions and Cities

Event type: UT
Date: 11/10/2017

Urban Transformations (UT) have become increasingly interested in the institutional form that urban experimentation might take, the role of research in this process and how democratic and citizenship concerns may be balanced with policy and industrial drivers. As a team we have explored some of the potential for Living Lab working and argued that ‘Urban/Living Labs’ (ULLs) are new ways to know cities.

Working in partnership with the European Commission’s Department for Regional and Urban Policy (DG Regio), the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA) we have assembled a fantastic cast for an interactive session on the promise and possibilities of living and urban lab working. The session is within the stream Regions and cities as change agents for which the hashtag is #TakeAction.

In this workshop we will hear from possibly the two most powerful advocates of these approaches in Europe; President of ENoLL (Prof Tuija Hirvikoski) and Chair of JPI Urban Europe (Margit Noll).  Both have framed the definition and adoption of these new ways of working across the EU.  Margit will announce a new funding stream in the session. Dr Ida Nilstad Pettersen will also join the panel to introduce a project-level example and show how important these approaches may be for sustainability transitions.

We will discuss the ways in which ULLs make knowledge work differently to face urban challenges and change the conversation around place by combining the talents of, citizens, industry and government in new configurations and using new methods, such as technology.

The Urban Transformations Team in Oxford have been working to explore the possibilities of international exemplars of lab practices – through a workshop in February on Experimenting with Urban Living Labs Beyond Smart City-Regions and in reports exploring more than 300 international examples.  In this session we seek to connect this work with reflections on how notions of ‘experimentation’ connect with the challenges of participation and citizen-centricity and how far we can inform collaborative forms for city working.