This is the online first version published on 2021-08-09. Read the most recent version.

From “Real World Labs” to Urban Experiments: German and international debates on scaling and urban sustainability transitions

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.48

Keywords:

Experimentation, Real World Labs, Sustainability Transition, Urban Living Labs

Abstract

In recent years, “Real World Labs” (Reallabore) have become an important part of applied sustainability research. In Germany, research on “Real World Labs” was supported by corresponding research programmes (e.g., “Lead Initiative Future City” of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research), while the EU funded the development of “Urban Living Labs” (e.g., “Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe”). Currently, the international academic debate is shifting more and more towards research on local experiments. Against this backdrop, this article serves in particular the purpose of placing the German-speaking research on “Real World Labs” within international debates, and of comparing it systematically with debates on “Urban Living Labs” and experiments. In this context, we concentrate especially on the basic assumptions of these three approaches, their development and areas of application as well as the importance of learning processes. Although all three approaches aim at urban sustainability transformations, not much is known about their medium- and long-term impacts. Their temporal and spatial scaling, which is critical here, was recognized as problem but has barely become object of systematic research. This article follows the purpose to enrich the German debate on „Real World Labs“ and to link it to the international discussion.

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Published

2021-08-09

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Research Article

How to Cite

1.
Kern K, Haupt W. From “Real World Labs” to Urban Experiments: German and international debates on scaling and urban sustainability transitions. RuR [Internet]. 2021 Aug. 9 [cited 2024 Jul. 15];79(4). Available from: https://rur.oekom.de/index.php/rur/article/view/48

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