At the heart of the socio-ecological research component are the Real-World Laboratories (RWL) or Living Labs (LL). They operate at the interface between science, practice and society. RWLs function as newly structured forms of cooperation and collaboration between scientific and social actors – as well as open spaces for research, learning and design, where new ideas can be thought through in a transdisciplinary way, thereby initiating transformation processes. Also, they provide an experiential environment where people are immersed in learning together, co-creating and reflecting on their own practices and futures. Three RWLs have been established, one in each of our model regions (North, Centre and South), which differ in terms of their socio-economic, political and ecological contexts.
There are three main components to the RWL in each of the three regions: