The launch event highlighted the activities of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) Joint Working Group on Digital for Sustainability including Zero Pollution, as well as illustrating the central role of living labs in delivering on the Commission’s Zero Pollution Action Plan.
Living Labs are user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on a systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings. The Working Group highlighted that from a survey of 20 Living labs, 11 consider themselves already an “accelerator of the transition towards zero pollution” and “partner of the local community in implementing EU policies”. Key to Flagship 7 of the European Commission’s Zero Pollution Action Plan is the creation of further living labs by businesses, citizens and municipal administrations to develop new ideas and foster the wider implementation of successful initiatives.
Open to all, the launch brought together members of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform, representatives from Living Labs from across the EU and Living-in.EU signatories. It was followed by a workshop exploring how living labs can support their cities and regions in becoming green and digital and how can they have a real impact in society by supporting decision and policy making? Examples of good practices in the reduction of pollution in areas such as mobility, energy, waste management and human health were highlighted, prioritising those that are easily replicable, transferable and scalable by interested cities and communities.
Two additional participatory workshops are planned in Autumn 2022 to continue the discussion and exchange of knowledge, and contribute to the definition of a set of recommendations that can be addressed to policy makers, the living labs themselves and cities/regions.