Cities are confronted every day with new and complex social, environmental, economic, cultural, and technological challenges. Innovation means finding new ways to meet these challenges and to satisfy citizens’ needs. Innovation is therefore essential for cities to define smart policies.

A characteristic feature of current processes of urban innovation is the adoption of collaborative approaches to the definition, production and implementation of products and services. Examples of processes of co-design and co-production, based on cooperation between public authorities, citizens and businesses can be found in the experiences of Urban Living Labs, of collaborative e-government, and social innovation.

This section outlines these experiences, analyses their characteristics, and presents examples of national and international good practice.