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Open Access Dealing with Multi-Perspectivity in Real-World Laboratories: Experiences from the Transdisciplinary Research Project Urban Transformation Laboratories

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Real-world laboratories bring together stakeholders from research and outside academia in sustainability experimentation. However, different perspectives of partners and inherent goal conflicts often inhibit collaboration. We present strategies how multi-perspectivity can be channeled into synergies instead of unsurmountable conflicts.

The project Urban Transformation Laboratories in Lokstedt (Hamburg) seeks to identify novel ways to combine local climate mitigation with urban planning, with a particular focus on the perspectives of local citizens. It serves as an example of transdisciplinary collaboration between two university partners and two local authorities, practice partners, and citizens. This Design Report focuses on strategies to address the challenges posed by multi-perspectivity among these different project stakeholders. We assume that building and maintaining trustful relations requires a careful balance of multiple perspectives, and that working with differences instead of forcing all partners to accept a unified perspective is the key to a successful collaboration. Finally, we briefly discuss the lessons we have learned so far on dealing with multi-perspectivity and the modifications we have introduced to our design.
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Keywords: climate mitigation; multi-perspectivity; real-world laboratory; transdisciplinarity; urban planning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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