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La fabrique des services urbains : vers une approche expérimentale, collaborative et distribuée de l'innovation urbaine. Les Urban Living Labs, nouveaux intermédiaires territorialisés de la plateformisation de la ville

Abstract : The emergence of new innovative urban services created by heterogeneous actors is accelerating. This development is fuelled by the pervasive development of digital technologies and their uses. The extent of this trend is encouraging local authorities to position themselves in relation to these new services and actors, whose timing of implementation and practices are shaking up public strategies for supporting urban innovation and territorial development. In this context, new sociotechnical systems - Urban Living Labs - are emerging and positioning themselves as intermediaries in the processes of collaborative experiments addressing urban issues. This research is focused on ULLs defined as 'institutional', which are embedded in the innovation strategies of private actors and in local public policies. I have questioned the role of these sociotechnical systems and the experiments they support in the production of new urban services. To address this issue, I have adopted an approach rooted in urban geography, which mobilises the theory of urban assemblage. Within this framework, I defend the following theory: Urban Living Labs catalyse the experimental turn of innovation in the development of new urban services. It also participates in bringing the dynamics of urban innovation into line with the strategic orientations of local public actors. To confirm this theory, I have used a comparative approach made of five case studies located in European regional or national capital cities. These cities have been chosen because of their elaborated strategies supporting urban innovation. In each case, I have first studied the functioning of the selected ULL and its territorial embedding. Then I have conducted an in-depth processual study of one of the experimentation processes accompanied by this ULL. The collection of the empirical material is mainly based on semi-directed interviews, conducted on field with the ULL teams and those contributing to the experiments. The empirical data also comes from my operational immersion within an ULL, made possible by the completion of the thesis under a CIFRE contract (industrial research agreement). Using this methodological approach, I was able to reconstruct the operational processes underlying the implementation of urban experiments, to highlight the role played by ULLs and to cast a light on the strategies of the actors involved. Deepening the understanding of the intermediation activities of ULLs and their strategic positioning within local networks, I have shown how the emergence of these sociotechnical systems is contributing to a change in the regulatory posture of local public actors in the development of new urban services. Indeed, these local public authorities are developing the conditions for a distanced piloting of urban innovation processes, which is part of a wider dynamic of plateformisation of cities. This aims at encouraging a more distributed urban innovation that is nevertheless consistent with locally prioritized strategic orientations. In this perspective, I have demonstrated that ULLs participate in the constitution of 'third territories' as new resources for innovative actors. These resources feed the articulation between the logics of territorialization and deterritorialization of innovations in urban systems. Finally, this research highlights the contribution of these sociotechnical systems to the emergence of 'urban innovative regimes' which support local dynamics of collaborative innovation around urban issues in a more sustainable way.
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Contributor : Florence Orillard <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 26, 2021 - 6:37:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 30, 2021 - 4:03:30 AM


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Florence Orillard. La fabrique des services urbains : vers une approche expérimentale, collaborative et distribuée de l'innovation urbaine. Les Urban Living Labs, nouveaux intermédiaires territorialisés de la plateformisation de la ville. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, 2021. Français. ⟨tel-03300041⟩



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