Circulating Experiments: Urban Living Labs and the Politics of Sustainability

James Evans, Harriet Bulkeley, Yuliya Voytenko, Kes McCormick, Steven Curtis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Urban experimentation has gained traction in cities all over the world as a way to find new, more sustainable ways to plan and develop cities. Interventions designed to address a diverse range of urban challenges bring innovative social and technical components together to learn by doing. Seen through this lens, the modernist planning that dominated the urban arena for much of the twentieth century seems to have given way to what we might term the experimental city - a condition where the urban both forms an arena for experimentation and is shaped by it (Evans et al. 2016). The appeal of urban experiments lies in their ability to be radical in ambition while limited in scope; ground-breaking rather than rule-breaking. Experimentation permits learning, which is increasingly identified as a necessary ingredient to ‘scale up’ solutions both within and between cities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781317495024
ISBN (Print)9781138890329
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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