Metropolitan Solutions: the Living Labs approach

Complex societal challenges in metropolitan regions demand integral solutions to guarantee quality of life. In a Living Lab approach academic, societal and business based knowledge is integrated to create integral solutions.

Under the fast pace of urbanisation, metropolitan regions around the world are confronted with complex societal challenges. These require coordinated action across diverse, yet closely intertwined issues, like climate adaptation, food security, urban mobility and the logistics of resource flows, as well as health and social inclusion. To respond to those challenges multifunctionally and guarantee quality of life in metropoltian regions with its fast crowing populations in densly built urban environments integral solutions are needed.

Living Labs

The living lab approach is a novel research method to develop integral solutions and enhance innovation. It creatively integrates academic, societal and business based knowledge to tackle complex challenges, create innovative solutions and bring about realization/ implementation in practice. Close collaboration between researchers from interdisciplinary fields together with citizens, businesses and public actors enables the combination of complementary perspectives, expertises and experiences on a certain subject and the creation of intergal solutions.

At Wageningen University, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has been appointed to co-develop, test and refine metropolitan solutions through an integrated living lab approach in the context of the AMS institute. The living lab innitiatives are based mainly in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and connected to the national and international context.

Core themes

The core themes include the following:

  1. Circular economy and new sanitation: ‘Innovating urban infrastructures and enabling circular economy.’ - Wei-Shan Chen
  2. SMART inclusive cities: ‘Stimulating social learning and co-creation through play.’ - Iulian Barba Lata
  3. Urban meteorology and extreme precipitation: ‘Grasping the present and future weather in cities.’ - Iris Manola
  4. Climate-responsive, green & blue urban design: ‘Shaping sustainable urban landscapes by transdisciplinary designing.’ - Wiebke Klemm
  5. Urban agriculture and city food logistics: ‘Developing sustainable urban food systems for future cities.’ - Xuezhen Guo
  6. Community gardening and food sociology: ‘Improving lifestyle and wellbeing in patients with a chronic illness by vegetable gardening.’ - Nicole de Roos and Esther Veen
Metropolitan Solutions: the living lab approach