Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities
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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.
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Chapter 14: Conclusion: a cross-cultural exploration of the co-creation of knowledge in living laboratories for societal transformation across four continents

Ariane König


How can universities more effectively engage in better understanding and acting on the existential and complex sustainability challenges of the twenty-first century as our human population exceeds seven billion and exponential growth has not as yet stalled? How can social processes for the creation of new knowledge, including in research and education, better take into account complex challenges? How can such change processes acknowledge that in the transformation of cities and regions, the social and the material world are interdependent and inextricably intertwined? How can science that is largely organized in disciplinary silos better relate insights on the biophysical carrying capacity of our planet to changes in social organization? This book presents an unprecedented wide range of perspectives across four continents on how universities engage with government agencies and private partners to foster social and technological change, transforming society and the environment they are embedded in for greater sustainability.

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