Innovation for Sustainable Smart Cities and Regions

Innovations for smart regions and cities is not only a technological issue; it also includes social, political and economic dimensions. For this, Living Labs can be involved as facilitators of the innovation processes with their broad and multidimensional approach.

ne megatrend around the world is the urbanization, people are moving into city areas at fast pace and cities are expected to consist of more than 60% of the world’s population by 2030 (Jungwoo & Hyejung, 2014). As a result, these growing cities must become smarter in order to answer to the needs of their citizens, to become more efficient and they need to handle the growth in a sustainable manner (Angelidou, 2014).

The growing cities thus needs to solve issues with transportation, waste management, energy management as well as social inclusion, wellness among the citizens by fostering and maintaining a
high level of quality of life. However, as cities grow and the urbanization happens with all the challenges this bring, it is also important that regions outside the cities are attractive and sustainable and thus, encourage people to live in these areas that might be rural and sometimes sparsely populated.

Innovations for smart regions and cities is not only a technological
issue; it also includes social, political and economic dimensions that need to be handled in the innovation process. To achieve this, Living Labs can be involved as facilitators of innovation processes from their broad and multidimensional approach. Living Labs has the overarching objective to support human-centred innovation processes for different types of actors and stakeholders (e.g. cities) in real world contexts from needfinding to implementation and tests. Within the Living Lab area  there is a desire to reap the benefits of open collaboration, while at the same time balance the different interests and intentions among these stakeholders.