Living Labs: Sustainability Research

“Think Global, Act Local” – Patrick Geddes

Through Living Labs, Transition enables links between practice, teaching and research in and around St Andrews. We aim to support students in having a direct and positive impact in the local environment and community.

The Living Lab approach enhances the student experience because students have practical, detailed and applied learning opportunities. It is also a tool for operational and professional staff to tap into the University’s research capabilities to improve sustainability in their own field of work. At Transition, we even encourage research into our own activities to advance our own work, scholarship and the wider sustainability agenda in St Andrews and beyond.

The benefits of Living Labs are plenty! The University of St Andrews is uniquely suited to act as a living laboratory. Indeed, we have examples of this sort of applied learning and co-creation of solutions since 2008. We own and operate our own utilities, including a district heating scheme based at the Eden Campus, and manage 300 hectares of land. As owner-occupiers of this substantial institution we can be, and have been, innovators in areas that others may not be as equipped or prepared to do so.

As owner-operators of this extensive institution, we are able to be early innovators in areas where others may not be as suitably prepared or equipped. We are making great strides to transform our campus into a vibrant and sustainable community. We hope that in the long term, others can learn from our experiences and implement our activities in other communities.

How It Works

Earn coursework credit, develop professional skills, gain first-hand work experience, and advance the University of St Andrews’ sustainability goals. 

Projects range in topic, scope, and size, yet they all involve working with a staff ‘client’ on a current sustainability challenge in St Andrews.

Click below to scroll through possible research topics. If your area of interest is not there, do not worry! Contact us, we can discuss it.