Cities and Sustainable Technology Transitions
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Cities and Sustainable Technology Transitions

Leadership, Innovation and Adoption

Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

This enlightening book elucidates the leadership challenges of various cities in emerging transitions towards higher levels of sustainability. It examines elements of three socio-technical systems, energy, transport and healthcare, while addressing technology invention, commercialization, mass-production and adoption. The book breaks new ground in the analysis of topical issues such as local ‘cradle’ conditions, incentive schemes, niche-development, living labs, impact bonds, grass-roots intermediation and adaptive policy making. It offers a broad coverage of global systems of cities, with a particular focus on Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Korea, Japan, the US and Canada.
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Chapter 13: Living labs in healthcare innovation: critical factors and potential roles of city governments

Marina van Geenhuizen and Nick Guldemond

Abstract

This chapter studies living labs as a methodology of user-centric innovation. The focus is on sustainability in healthcare and increasing efficiency, affordability and inclusiveness. The real-life environments are residential homes for elderly people, hospitals and a shopping mall, the latter as an example of increasing accessibility for wheelchairs. The chapter aims to identify critical factors in the performance of living labs, drawing on literature and in-depth case studies in Eindhoven and Maastricht (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Montreal (Canada). Important critical factors are: early involvement of users, including feedback from them, and sufficient involvement of a wider network of stakeholders with the required expertise/input. An appropriate selection of promising inventions is also important. A preliminary analysis of network building through living labs found a trend for both local and global networking, with an emphasis on the latter. These findings touch on a leadership challenge for local governments, namely as a ‘connector’ between different local/ regional organizations.

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