Living Labs and the Governance of Urban Sustainability
Institute of Sociology, University of Porto, Portugal, Portugal
Living Labs are fields for experimentation of technological innovations regarding sustainable practices and promote new forms of governance of urban sustainability (Bulkeley et al., 2015, McGuirk et al., 2014, McCormick et al., 2013). In this regard, Living Labs are part of a broader experimentation policy engaging a diversity of stakeholders in innovations testing in order to overcome contemporary sustainable challenges and threats.
By incrementing Living Labs, the municipalities aim to involve companies (startups), researchers, educational institutions and citizens in the definition and construction of co-creation processes promoting reflection on the issues of urban sustainability, testing and learning with innovation. According to Van den Bosch and Rotmans (2008) the learning process, in the scope of the “Transition Experiments”, allows a multiplicity of social actors to “develop new ways of thinking (culture), doing (practices) and organizing (structure)” through an "(inter)active process of acquisition and development of new knowledge, competencies or norms and values”. How to engage different social actors in co-creation processes and how to evaluate the impact of technological innovations on changing consumers behaviour to sustainable consumption practices remains an issue to be improved by Living Labs (Gust Project; NESTA).
The goal of this paper is to present and discuss how and which governance of urban sustainability is being defined and implemented by the "Living Lab Matosinhos" in order to promote sustainable lifestyle choices. Briefly, if community-led responses are being put or not at the heart of consumer’s behavioural changes attending to the gap between values and practices (Theories of Practice).
Pleasure vs Responsibility: Negotiating the Leisure-Volunteering Duality in Volunteer Tourism
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Volunteer tourism is part of the wide trend of ethical consumption in that it allows untrained tourists to aid impoverished communities around the world, and thus express moral ideas and depict their moral sense of self via casual consumption. Volunteer tourism is positioned at the intersection of two seemingly conflicting pastime activities: travelling, which contains self-orientated aspects (i.e. leisure and hedonism), and volunteering, which contains society-orientated aspects (i.e. aid and altruism). This duality challenges the volunteer tourists’ moral sense of self. Although this duality is inherent in volunteer tourism it received little academic attention. Drawing on the sociology of morality and pragmatic sociology this paper seeks to shed light on the topic by focusing on the different ways in which volunteer tourists perceive, evaluate and negotiate contradicting aspects of volunteer tourism.
Findings from in-depth narrative interviews with volunteer tourists suggest that they position their volunteering acts in different social contexts. In each of the social contexts, the interviewees invoke specific ideas about the common good that justify and legitimize their actions on both self-orientation and social orientation levels. Invoking specific ideas about the common good in different social contexts allows them to manage the leisure-volunteering duality and maintain their sense of moral self. The study offers a powerful example of the different strategies volunteer tourists employ when facing contradictions in their actions in order to overcome the inherent duality in volunteer tourism.
Smart Cars for Distracted Drivers
university of bologna, Italy
Distracted driving, the use of devices and social media has become the main cause of car accidents in the Western world. Digital technologies, social and technological transformation of cities such as platforms and ubiquity of devices are having a broad impact on the behaviour of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Repercussions can be seen on different social dynamics, such as security, surveillance, man-machine relationship, gamification, power of algorithm and, above all, prosumption. Step by step, man has had to give up control over machines and both automotive industry and device manufacturers are also introducing limitations at the use of devices while driving, that will be analysed trough ANT theoretical approach. This contribution is the result of a joint work between Italian Police and Department of Sociology and Business Law (UNIBO) with the objective of creating a mutual awareness of a reality in transition (the world of atoms and the word of bits merging). The project is addressed both to policeman and young drivers about how the digital technologies impact with our relationship with mobility. The methodology used consists in a visual analysis of several EU social and commercial advertising upon the topic, together with a theoretical reflection upon the main issues arose in our days related to the relationship between technology and mobility.
Modes of Shopping Constituting a Local Street: A video-ethnography of shopping as a practice
Lund University, Sweden
In the last decades spatiotemporal manifestations of shopping are changed radically in conjunction with proliferation of car usage, internationalization of retail, and establishment of out-of-town malls. The social, cultural, and economic backgrounds of this axis alteration and its implication to the city life have been discussed thoroughly. However, the main empirical focus laid mostly on the mainstream and spectacular geographies of shopping. There is little literature on how shopping is enacted in “other” shopping geographies, particularly on local shopping streets.
Södergatan, established as the main street of a working-class district in Helsingborg, Sweden, after going through modernization phases, today it mostly hosts so-called migrant entrepreneurships, service-based premises, and grocery stores. This study examines the major modes of shopping on this local shopping street in order to understand how shopping geographies outside of mainstream ensure their relevance. It contributes to the literature on shopping geographies from a cultural perspective, particularly on the co-constitutive interrelation between enactments of shopping and arrangements of shopping places. While doing this, the study engages in “practice theory”, which supplies a profound conceptual vocabulary and dynamic epistemological gaze for concentrating on shopping as the main analytical unit. The major method employed in the research is video-ethnography, due to its capability to synchronically appreciate enactments of shopping, shoppers’ reflections, the sensory and material environment of the street, and the movement within.
The research shows that there are some major place-specific modes of shopping that are enacted in the street and in the district, and these modes of shopping, bundling with each other, materially and sensorially co-constitute the street into a meaningful, integral and convivial part of the city.