CONFERENCE by:KU Leuven.Published:April 25, 2017.


Urban Living Labs for public space. A new generation of planning?

While participatory planning is widely hailed as a prerequisite for well-managed urban development and sustainability, this ideal can be difficult to implement in practice, due to the complexity of interactions between stakeholders and the difficulty of public users to realise a tangible ‘hand-on’ contribution. Incubators of Public Spaces aims to expand the opportunities for civic engagement in urban design through the creation of a user friendly online platform as an aid to local option generation and selection.

By combining software for design, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, the project provides a way to connect communities meaningfully with their physical environment, enabling contributors to navigate through an accurate visualisation of local public spaces which they can remodel interactively and share with others. Then, after a participatory selection process, the participants can raise the necessary resources to make their vision become a reality.

The on-going development of the Incubator platform responds to three urban living labs in Europe: Turin, Brussels and London. Through a range of interactive workshops, engagement in the field and collaboration with local actors, the Incubators researchers mediate between the technological advancements and local needs and desires. Later on these labs will form the ground to test and further improve the implementation of the Incubator platform.

The Incubators conference intends to explore these issues in the context of the wider potential for urban living labs to deliver better, more tangible public participation in the urban environment. We especially focus on the crucial role urban living labs play to mediate between the everyday practice and the innovation of digital tools in impacting on public spaces. How can living labs introduce and induce new developments? What processes are needed to make living labs successful?

Furthermore the conference wants to explore the potential of urban participatory design. Can new participatory tools trigger towards a new turn in urbanism? What new visions are needed and how can crowdsourcing engage actors and contribute to spaces? Can new technological means empower civic self-organisation and how does this impact the authority of the public power in planning?

Official Website


2016-10-17  |  Announcement
2016-12-15  |  Registration Opens
2017-04-10  |  Conference Opening
2017-04-11  |  Conference Closing
2016-10-17  |  Call for Abstracts
2016-11-28  |  Abstract Submission Deadline
2016-11-30  |  Notification of Acceptance
2017-01-15  |  Full Papers Submission Deadline
2017-03-01  |  Full Papers Review
2017-03-21  |  Final Full Papers Submission Deadline


April 10, 2017