Implementing living labs in regulations: a case study of the realization of The Green Village
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The European Union has set different targets to overcome the sustainability problems, but to reach these targets sustainable technologies are needed. To develop these sustainable technologies, living labs can be a valuable addition to the innovation process because at these sustainable technology living labs, sustainable technologies can be tested in a real life environment. However, the problem is that local regulations are blocking the realization of these sustainable technology living labs. First, because it is unclear what sustainable technology living labs are. Second, the regulations are not suitable to create a location with experimental technologies where visitors can interact with these technologies. Therefore the research question addressed in this research is: To what extend do the regulations of the province and municipality have to change in order to realize sustainable technology living labs? To analyze this problem, the path creation theory was used as a theoretical frame to guide the research. The Green Village, a sustainable technology living lab which has to be realized at the campus of the Technical University of Delft, was used in this research as a case study to find out what a sustainable technology living lab is and how regulations are influencing this realization process. The realization of the Green Village was analyzed with a qualitative case study research design, including a literature review and semi-structured expert interviews to collect data. From the results in this research can be concluded that a sustainable technology living lab is a continuously changing site where collaborating organizations can present, demonstrate and test their researched and future technologies in a real life environment. At this real life environment users can actively contribute to the innovation process of these technologies in order to accelerate the diffusion of sustainable technologies to create a sustainable future. The realization of this sustainable technology living lab is blocked by the Dutch regulations: land-use plan, national building decree and the building regulations. A specific regulation has to be designed, so that on a sustainable technology living lab location these three regulations are designed in such a way that it is possible to create a lab which fulfills the characteristics of a living lab.