Smart City District as a Living Lab Platform in Sustainability Transition: Nutrient Recycling in Hiedanranta, Finland

Anil Engez, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos, Marika Kokko, Ari Jokinen, Pekka Jokinen

Research output: Other conference contributionAbstractScientific


This study examines the impact of living labs in the creation process of a sustainable city district and puts emphasis on the urban governance and interactions among public and private actors. Since the studies on the overall impact of the nutrient cycles that take place in living labs are limited, this study focuses on the economic and social values that nutrient recycling create through living labs.
The study relies on qualitative research design containing interviews with key stakeholders including managers of the firms in the living lab, city development project managers from the municipality, project manager from an association, researchers who focus on nutrient recycling, and broad secondary data. The focus area is Hiedanranta living lab, which is a future city district that is described as smart and sustainable neighborhood. Hiedanranta acts as piloting platform for new technologies and methods aiming the transition to lifestyles that include e.g. renewable energy and recycling. 
Results uncover that source separating toilets and nutrient recycling technologies that are tested in living labs can provide substantial benefits in the future, if the required infrastructure for the collection of nutrients (e.g. source separating toilets) is broadly built and cover the majority of the households in a district. Living labs act as a platform to test different technologies, while engaging authorities, citizens, businesses, and researchers. Findings of the study point out that in order to advance the nutrient recycling in living labs, all the actors including researchers, equipment providers, city planners from the municipality, regulators and companies need each other to test solutions and contribute with their expertise, knowledge, equipment and facilities. This study acknowledges the significance of actor diversity and collaboration in value creation in living labs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2019
Publication typeNot Eligible
EventR&D Management Conference 2019
- Paris, France
Duration: 17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


ConferenceR&D Management Conference 2019
Internet address


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