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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