The University Campus as a Living Lab for Sustainability: A Practitioner’s Guide and Handbook (AMS Institute)

By Leendert Verhoef and Michael Bossert

Universities are enhancing their contribution to a sus tainable world by developing sustainable campuses and by stimulating implementation of scientific findings, among other things. However, for university managerial, strategic or sup port staff responsible for this transformation, there is no appropriate, available material on how to do this. Instead, an abundance of material is available on why it is important and there are several reports in scientific journals on the expertise behind that. This puts great pressure on those staff members, who have scarce time and money and need to reliably generate results but have to learn on the job or gather information through peers in oral or case study form. The goal of this handbook is to help practitioners increase the speed of putting sustainability science and education into practice by maximizing the possibilities of campuses and to speed up sustainability in campuses by maximizing researcher and student input. The book builds on hands-on experience and analyzing operational practice in Living Labs on campuses and in the literature.

This book attempts to give guidelines as to:

• why we need to speed up innovation and sustainability implementation and why universities should lead the way and are positioned superbly for this role

• what sustainability is (in a nutshell) and what Living Labs are

• where to combine sustainability, Living Labs and university campuses into the approach of ‘Campus as Living Lab‘

• how to start and run a Living Lab and run a process and stakeholder approach

• when the vision of global sustainable campuses will come true.

The booklet takes a pragmatic approach; therefore, we have limited references to those necessary and given a mix of theoretical and scientific papers, workshop reports, websites and more experience-based books to guide interested readers and practitioners. While writing the booklet, we have assumed that your university already has some sustainability program in place. This booklet is the first version. The authors are fully aware of the wealth of experiences generated in universities around the world. Therefore, all remarks, comments and suggestions will be gathered through our website and will be discussed and used by practitioners and co-writers. As experience grows, we envision this handbook becoming part of the standard material for university sustainability coordinators around the world, staying up-to-date through their input and acknowledging the value of that co-creation process. We hope that it helps university sustainability offices as well as all stakeholders involved in sustainability education, innovation and implementation.


Image credits

Header image: Marineterrein Amsterdam_Canva.png

Icon image: Marineterrein Amsterdam_Canva.png