Urban Living Labs as a Driver for Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Innovations

Mitrofanenko, Tamara and Muhar, Andreas and Ressar, Kim and Offermans, Astrid and Wahl, Darin and Ness, Barry and Bernert, Philip and Dalla Fontana, Michele and Moreira, Fabiano and Marques Di Giulio, Gabriela and Malheiros, Tadeu Fabrício (2021) Urban Living Labs as a Driver for Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Innovations. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1257-1264. ISSN 2521-3938

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The Food-Water-Energy (FWE) nexus provides a useful frame for considering sustainable urban development, due to the inevitably close linkages among demand for energy, freshwater and food by the growing urban population, and the availability of these resources. To facilitate sustainable development on a global scale, local and regional solutions concerning food, water and energy challenges need to be established and tested. The exchange of best practices and their potential transfer and upscaling should be fostered. The project GLOCULL (Globally and Locally-sustainable Food-Water-Energy Innovation in Urban Living Labs) has been initiated by an international consortium to address the above-mentioned needs: to create evidence of potential solutions with respect to FWE nexus in seven Urban Living Labs, to share results and experiences, and to provide methodological and practical guidelines and recommendations, with a local and global scale outlook. Urban Living Labs (ULLs) represent an experimental approach of university involvement in a real-world setting, where academic and non-academic actors, including local administration and stakeholders, collaborate on various urban development challenges. Despite the recognition of ULLs as a promising form of urban governance on the EU level (EU 2011), their successful implementation requires further evidence-based elaboration (De Kraker et al. 2016). Each of the GLOCULL partners (the consortium includes: Maastricht University / Netherlands, Leuphana University Luneburg / Germany, The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, / Austria, Arizona State University / United States, University of Sao Paulo / Brazil, Lund University / Sweden and Stellenbosch University / South Africa) has developed and implemented experiments focusing on local innovations in various aspects of the FWE nexus, within an ULL. The innovations have been co-created by universities and non-academic partners in each country, using transdisciplinary approaches, resulting in co-production of knowledge, shared with the international project partners. Moreover, flow- and causal-loop diagrams were used to integrate knowledge gathered through participatory, integrated assessments in each of the implemented experiments. The impacts of the project include: the academic impact through advancing knowledge on sustainability transitions through ULL in the FWE nexus and different economic and societal impacts. The latter provides evidence on the local and global sustainability of local food systems, the acceleration of the transition towards sustainable food system, the integration of the FWE nexus and related inputs into decision-making and the contribution to practice partners (local individuals and organisations) through facilitating closer collaborative relationships, network-building and solution orientated approaches to their FWE challenges. Furthermore, the project is also focusing on capacity building. Practice partners are developing technical and personal skills, as well as individual and collective agency, and are sharing their practice and lessons institutionally. This should help to strengthen scholars-local actors-collaboration and co-production of knowledge. An evaluation and case study reporting framework is being developed by the partners to reflect on and assess the implementation of each ULL and compare the process and outcomes across the seven ULLs. Moreover, local and international partner experiences will be synthesised into an implementation guide for practitioners and a participatory assessment toolkit. Keywords: sustainable urban development, urban innovations, transdisciplinary research, urban living lab, food-water-energy nexus

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper is based on GLOCULL project-related reports and documents, to which all GLOCUL project staff, from all project partner institutions have contributed, inculding those not listed among the co-authors of the given paper. This research has been funded by FAPESP – São Paulo Research Foundation (Proc. 2018/21362-1; Proc. 2018/21249-0) within the Project “Globally and LOCally-sustainable food-water-energy innovation in Urban Living Labs” (Proc. Fapesp 2017/50423-6).
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable urban development, urban innovations, transdisciplinary research, urban living lab, food-water-energy nexus
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2021 21:09
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 17:59
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/855

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