Abstract Contemporary assemblages of multiple actors seeking to intervene and address current urban challenges, are popping up in cities all over the world. These so-called ‘Urban Living labs’ differ widely in contexts, yet all sharing the same goal of ‘co-creation’ between public and knowledge institutions, private bodies and civil society. The aim of this research is to understand the influence of the diverging characteristics of Urban Living labs on the co-creation between science and policy. A multiple case-study is conducted, researching three cases in Rotterdam where science and policy interact, called ‘kenniswerkplaatsen’, each case with different research contexts and participant constellations. The Urban Living lab characteristics of Steen & van Bueren (2017) (context, aim, participants and activities) have been used as overarching characteristics. Which, in combination with the co-creation phases (co-design, co-production and co-dissemination) of Mauser et al. (2013) serve as foundation to gain insight in the process of co-creation in the ‘kenniswerkplaatsen’. The governance network theory on complexities of Klijn en Koppenjan (2016) thereby added an extra layer of understanding by exposing the dynamics and integration between interdependent participants in a collaboration whilst co-creating. The research comes to show that the characteristics ‘aim’, ‘research context’ and ‘finance’ substantiate who is considered an (end) user in the Urban Living lab and, building subsequently, which level of ownership and roles the participating groups have in the different phases of co-creation. In a Triple Helix model of innovation, where interaction takes place between the university, industry and government, both the composition of participants - especially the inclusion of businesses - and the research context of engineering - which seems to have less affinity with the policy realm and tradition in actor orientation - have a diminishing role on the co-creation between science and policy. By adding actors of the civil society as participant, the Urban Living lab in the Quadruple Helix model of innovation in the research context of social sciences, achieves the highest level of co-creation by including the civil society as end-users in all co-creation phases. However, the most complexities occur in this collaboration as well. A general reasoning can be that including citizens in an Urban Living lab is a difficult endeavour. Moreover, partially case-specific reasons are found in the coordination of the Urban Living lab, in not being allocated financial compensation for carrying out the research and in the implications of being entirely dependent of an external subsidy giver. In the Urban Living lab with solely science and policy actors, also operating in the research context of social sciences, more integration and less complexities are found. However, in this science-policy interface there is less co-creation and no collaboration with civil society and their expected user, being citizens, by which it is questionable if this Urban Living lab adequately serves the aim of an Urban Living lab being user-centred. These and other debates are touched upon in the final chapter of the research, giving insight in the implications and limitations of the research, and providing suggestions for further research.

Jasper Eshuis
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Anamika Naomi Rajiv, & Freek de Haan. (2021, August 7). The influence of Urban Living lab characteristics on the co-creation between science and policy in the Kenniswerkplaatsen Rotterdam. Public Administration. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/61514