An increasingly urbanized global population is facing multiple, inter-related and inter-connected challenges. By applying the so-called Living Lab concept, the authors open up innovation processes through online and offline collaborations between urban policymakers, non-profit organizations, citizens and other stakeholder groups. However, much of the current research being conducted on Living Labs is lacking in empirically tested methodologies for the co-creation of sustainable urban innovations in defined contexts. This research is intended to fill this gap by presenting a systemic approach to digital co-creation processes in Living Labs. The purpose of this paper is to present the first evaluation results of European Living Labs by applying the new developed digital co-creation monitoring technique.
By emphasizing the interplay between places, technology and people, the Digital Co-Creation Index (DCCI) calculation methodology provides a systemic understanding of the basic factors shaping the co-creative processes in Living Labs. DCCI has been used to evaluate such labs in four different European cities: Aukštamiestis in Vilnius, Lithuania; Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal; Città Studi in Milano, Italy and Zuid Park in Ghent, Belgium. The empirical data for assessment and index calculation were collected by using a mixed-method approach (i.e. qualitative and quantitative analysis).
While the findings are complex and varied, the case studies in this paper share several characteristics and patterns – the attractiveness of physical spaces, opportunities for experimentation, the density and diversity of stakeholders involved and the emergence of creative communities that co-design novel initiatives. The results show that digital technologies are underused in the evaluated Living Labs.
The results are limited to a comparison of the European Living Labs in the research sample. In the absence of an index that was obtained, designed and tested in other territorial contexts, the comparative value of the outcomes of this research can be established between only four case studies. The authors anticipate that the implementation of the C3Places project and other research activities will yield even more scientific results. The findings and their implications should be discussed and tested in the broadest context possible. By focusing on creative synergy between places, technology and people, this paper presents a unified and empirically validated systemic approach to assessing digital co-creation efforts in urban planning.
Unlike previous research, this paper presents a unified and empirically based approach to assessing digital co-creation efforts in urban planning by emphasizing interplay between place, technology and people.
Mačiulienė, M. and Skaržauskienė, A. (2020), "Sustainable urban innovations: digital co-creation in European living labs", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-07-2019-0514Download as .RIS
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