What is Co-creation?

Co-creation is the act of working together. It means that a final product, whatever it may be, is created by multiple people from different backgrounds who are involved in its development. The concept of co-creation is applied to many different settings. It can be used to design a product or improve a service, and can even be seen in song-writing. Co-creation is also a great approach when it comes to re-designing a living area or a public space.

To demonstrate an example of how co-creation can be used in re-designing a public space, such as a street, we can imagine the following scenario: to use a co-creative approach to re-design and transform the street, the owner of the street, which in our example is the municipality, should invite shop owners, shoppers, apartment owners and renters as well as researchers and scientists to brainstorm how the street could be effectively re-designed and come up with a solution together. By bringing different groups of people together, each with their own needs and concerns, we can create a solution that caters to those needs. If a solution is good and useful, it is more likely to be adopted.


In UNaLab, we aim to bring together a wide range of people to jointly discuss nature-based solutions that can be implemented in their cities. With this blend of ideas, we shed light on problems that were not foreseen and bring new ideas to the table. To make sure that municipalities, citizens, researchers and private companies work together, we use the Living Lab methodology.

Explore this page to learn what kind of workshops, IT tools, canvases or even games you can use to work together and get feedback from people living in your city; take part of the co-creation experiences of Tampere, Eindhoven and Genova; learn about Urban Living Labs; and hear stories from living labs all over Europe.


Learning Material

The Urban Living Lab Playground

The Urban Living Lab Playground game is a spontaneous outcome of UNaLab. The game aims to share the cornerstones of the Urban Living Lab activities - how it functions; who are the staff members working there; and what co-creation tools can be used to engage citizens.

Ultimately, participants will learn how an Urban Living Lab functions and how it can bring city stakeholders together to fight a given climate challenge. The gamified approach aids creative thinking and helps challenge solvers to look at the problem from a different perspective/with a fresh set of eyes. By bringing together a diverse mix of participants, the game helps to break down barriers of communication through a storytelling approach.

ULL Game

Co-creation Experiences from Our Front-runner Cities

What is an Urban Living Lab?

There is a growing trend to involve citizens in city development, in order to make urban areas more adapted to citizens’ needs. When addressing the consequences of climate change and urbanisation in cities, such as air pollution, flooding, and heat stress, it is important to think ahead, and at the same time, to consider the social implications of the solutions that are introduced in our urban areas. Addressing complex problems, such as climate change and the social implications linked to it, entails a wide range of aspects to consider. It should be addressed by involving a range of stakeholders, including citizens, companies, research, academia and the public sector, to ensure the successful collaboration towards the shared solutions.

Urban Living Labs are the orchestrators of this collaboration, bringing together the different stakeholders - companies, research institutions, the public sector and citizens - through co-creation. Co-creation involves different phases of development to reach the final solution. The first phase consists of a joint exploration to identify the challenges and the different needs from the perspectives of all stakeholders. The second phase is the experimentation phase, which includes building a prototype of the proposed solution, testing it, and building it again - each time improving the solution based on the feedback gathered from the previous stages. In Living Labs, the place for experimentation is always a real-life setting: the solution is tested in the real-life environment, right where it is planned to be implemented. The third phase of the co-creation process is evaluation and implementation. In this final phase, the solution is evaluated and the final version of it can be built. 

Hiedanranta, Tampere

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Latest Updates

Latest Updates

D2.2 Co-Creation Workshops Report

Report on the UNaLab co-creation workshops on NBS, organised in Spring 2018 in the UNaLab front-runner cities Tampere, Eindhoven and Genova. 

This deliverable has not yet been approved by the funding agency.

Mapping the Life Cycle Co-creation Process of Nature-based Solutions for Urban Climate Change Adaptation

Title: Mapping the Life Cycle Co-creation Process of Nature-based Solutions for Urban Climate Change Adaptation

Author: Marta Irene de los Rios White

Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, 2018.