2012 EU-China Mayors' Forum © Committee of the Regions

Urban experimentation is driven by multiple agendas. Cities have risen to become influential players in the global governance of climate change, and as highlighted through existing Laboratory work with C40 and ARUP on Climate Action in Megacities, have become the locus of policy measures for mitigation in a wide range of sectors and at a significant scale.


Increasing funding for smart city and urban innovation initiatives have also resulted in the mushrooming of smaller-scale, experimental projects in cities, where new infrastructure is trialled in a real-life context.


Crucially, for urban experiments to play a significant role in spurring a significant transition to sustainable transport and energy systems in cities, they must be linked to policy-making and be scaled up from small projects to city, national and international policy.


The project will develop through a pilot study during 2017. The research will utilise a comparative case study approach, examining experimentation in different cities through qualitative and quantitative methods.


Focus areas for further research include:


  • The knowledge and learning generated through urban experiments, and how this feeds into policy-making

  • The capacity of urban experimentation to spur innovation in policy processes and infrastructure planning 

  • How can experiments be scaled to an international level through global city networks and city-to-city learning? 

  • What new decision support tools for infrastructure planning are required for experimentation?

Who's Involved?