Urban Sustainability Living Lab (USLL)

The Urban Sustainability Living Lab (USLL) is an inclusive exchange and communication platform which unites civil society, researchers, policymakers, and more, in a mission to shape and support urban sustainability transformations.

This is Urban Studies

The Urban Studies working group is based at the Institute of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. The Group focuses on analyzing the interactions between social, ecological and technical processes in the city, which is viewed and understood as a complex system.

Thematic foci are in the areas of Urban Sustainability Transformations, Urban Socio-Spatial Transformations, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Transdisciplinarity, Smart and Circular Cities as well as Urban Ecosystem Services.

Together with a wide-range of actors from the urban context, such as city administrations, private and non-profit companies, and civil society, the Group strives to develop integrative approaches to solutions that support the development of sustainable urban societies.

Emphasis is placed on context-specific challenges and the potential of cities to contribute to global sustainability. Both research and teaching are inter- and transdisciplinary. Comparative studies are conducted in European and Latin American cities.

Our Approach

The approach of the USLL is inter- and transdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary addresses the multi-layered human-environment-technology interactions in urban spaces through a coalition of complementary scientific fields.

Transdisciplinary means identifying real-world problems together and working on equal footing with urban actors from politics, administration, the private sector and civil society through co-creative and co-productive processes and activities.

The necessary methods and approaches are continuously developed, and are designed to have research, teaching and practical applications.

The focus is thus on networking, mutual learning of actors and processes, and the development of concrete solutions, whereby the USLL is oriented towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs].

The USLL is operated and further developed by the “Urban Studies Working Group”. As a living knowledge platform, it is located in the Institute of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna, Austria.

City Sustainability Check

Within the framework of different courses, USLL scientists work with students on the sustainability of cities worldwide. The continuously updated map shows the cities represented by the students in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Urban Studies (4CITIES) and which were the subject of their sustainability analyses.

Go to the interactive map and click on the city icons to explore their current challenges, transformative processes, and SDG progress.