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Universities as living labs for climate praxis

Robinson; catney



Universities can play an important role in tackling climate change through their education, research and knowledge transfer missions. Universities also have the potential to act as testbeds, pilots, or demonstrators for innovative solutions to tackle climate change using their large, multi-purpose campuses as ‘living laboratories’ for climate praxis, and to provide opportunities for applied research and teaching. An appreciation of the unique challenges and opportunities that a university setting presents is required to maximise this potential. Drawing on reflections from the authors’ involvement in two university campus sustainable energy transition ‘living lab’ projects, this chapter highlights i) the complex relationships that can exist with those ‘living in the living lab’, and ii) the need to explicitly embed educational objectives and learning processes within a living lab. This chapter critically explores the potential and challenges of universities as places of climate praxis in the context of wider living lab theory and development.


Robinson, & catney. (2021). Universities as living labs for climate praxis. In Addressing the Climate Crisis.

Acceptance Date May 19, 2021
Publication Date Oct 5, 2021
Book Title Addressing the Climate Crisis
ISBN 978-3-030-79739-3
Publisher URL