Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Co-Governing Smart Cities through Living Labs

This article Co-Governing Smart Cities through Living Labs: Top Evidences from EU by F. Bifulco, M. Tregua, C. C. Amitrano, aims to identify relevance between participative governance and smart cities projects that implement Living Labs initiatives. Reviewing the literature on participative approaches to innovation and city governance and highlighting the gaps where further research is needed, their contribution is proved. Through research on EU smart cities, they demonstrate the the determining role of Living Labs for co-governing the smart cities.


Our purpose is to identify the relevance of participative governance in urban areas characterized
by smart cities projects, especially those implementing Living Labs initiatives as real-life settings to develop services innovation and enhance engagement of all urban stakeholders.

A research on the three top smart cities in Europe ‘“ i.e. Amsterdam, Barcelona and Helsinki ‘“ is proposed through a content analysis with NVivo on the offi cial documents issued by the project partners (2012-2015) to investigate their Living Lab initiatives.

The results show the increasing usefulness of Living Labs for the development of more inclusive
smart cities projects in which public and private actors, and people, collaborate in innovation processes and governance for the co-creation of new services, underlining the importance of the open and ecosystem-oriented approach for smart cities.

Figure 1: Linkages among the most frequent topics. Source: Bifulco et al., 2017.

Article structure

1. Introduction

2. Literature Review

        2.1. User-driven innovation in public services

        2.2. Living Labs and public services

3. Emerging gaps and research aim

4. Methodology

        4.1. Research questions

        4.2. Data collection

        4.3. Data analysis

5. Findings

        5.1. A brief overview of the three cities

        5.2. Evidence from the qualitative analysis through NVivo

6. Discussion and implications

7. Conclusions and research limitations

This work has been supported by the project OR.C.HE.S.T.R.A. (Organizational of Cultural Heritage for Smart Tourism and Real-time Accessibility) in the Italian National Operative Programme 2007-13.

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