Enhancing Early Innovation in an Urban Living Lab : Lessons from Espoo, Finland
Juujärvi, Soile; Lund, Virpi (2016)
Talent First Network
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Urban areas are often characterized by complex problems, such as social and economic deprivation, segregation, or bureaucratic administration. Urban living laboratories provide a promising approach to redefining and tackling such problems in novel ways by enabling bottom-up innovation with various actors. The present study examined an urban living lab initiative in a suburban area of Espoo, Finland, where guided workshops based on the Change Laboratory method were arranged. The findings show that, before development projects are launched, it is important to dedicate sufficient time to the early innovation process, which includes building relationships, sharing knowledge, exploring ignorance, and innovating new concepts. The study emphasizes the importance of distinguishing early innovation processes from later ones, which means separating the "preject" from the "project". We conclude that successful management of an urban living lab combines bottom-up and topdown approaches.