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Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities

Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities

The Role of Living Laboratories

Edited by Ariane König

Now that the Earth has reached the limits of its biophysical carrying capacity, we have to change technologies, social practices and social norms relating to material production and consumption to ensure that we do not further jeopardize the functioning of our planet’s life support systems. Through research, education and civic engagement, universities have a pivotal role to play in this transition. This timely book explores how universities are establishing living laboratories for sustainable development, and examines the communication networks and knowledge infrastructures that underpin impact both on and beyond the campus.

Chapter 8: What might a sustainable university look like? Challenges and opportunities in the development of the University of Luxembourg and its new campus

Ariane König

Subjects: education, education policy, geography, cities, politics and public policy, education policy, social policy and sociology, education policy, urban and regional studies, cities


With their combined mission of research, education and civic engagement, universities have a central place in processes fostering social and technological transformation for sustainability, at the local, regional and global scales. From this perspective, one key role of the university is to understand factors that affect local and regional quality of life, whilst also producing new knowledge to enhance the adaptation capacity and resilience to local and global change. As argued throughout this book, universities are particularly well placed to stage living laboratories as platforms for participatory processes helping cities and regions to cope with new demands on societies and infrastructures, whilst attending to needs of future generations. However, recognition of the need to better address socially salient, complex problems, also invites a reconception of how knowledge is produced in more applied and local contexts, and what role science and research universities can play within such processes (Gibbons et al., 1994; Jasan off, 2004; Nowotny et al., 2001; Robinson, 2008).

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