Pirjo Friedrich

Urban Living Lab – What is it?

In the SubUrbanLab project we create two Urban Living Labs in sub urban areas: one in Finland (Peltosaari in Riihimäki) and one in Sweden (Alby in Botkyrka). Living Lab refers to a development environment and method that integrates the residents to develop and try out new ways of operation in their daily life. The research happens in a “living laboratory” – in the middle of people’s everyday living environment.

Living Lab methods have been mostly used when developing ICT services. In Europe, there are many areas called as Living Labs where the residents participate as forerunners in the development of a new technology or service.

With the Urban Living Lab we mean a forum for innovation and dialogue in an urban environment, focusing on solving real challenges in the area. Urban Living Lab includes the following features:
– it integrates researchers, public organizations, residents and companies to co-develop new solutions
– the users of the developed services or solutions are active partners in the development work during the whole process
– the solutions will be developed and evaluated in the real use context
– besides producing the concrete solutions, the aim is to learn and exchange knowledge among the partners
– the activities are encouraging and rewarding for all participants

In practice, we will use different co-design methods both face-to-face and online to involve all relevant stakeholders in the process of planning, designing, developing and evaluating.


  1. Interesting! We have a similar kind of project entitled Välittävät Valittavat Verkostot aiming at developing a living lab in Espoon keskus, Espoo in Finland. The project is funded by the Ministry of Environment and managed by Laurea University of Applied Sciences. This area represents the least advantaged part of Espoo City. The project started 9/2013 will continue 12/2015. Let’s be in touch…

    • Thanks for your comment!
      Your project sounds really interesting. We would definitely like to hear more about it, and tell about our work. Let’s be in touch!

      Regards, Maija