Purpose – It is now time to recognize that self-organizing socio-economic actors can and must act directly on the pursuit of territorial development and cohesion or, in other words, that the broadest possible number of socio-economic actors must be involved, to this end, in co-creating products, services and innovative content. ICTs can greatly help to go forward in this direction, allowing the merging of regulation, implementation of policies and spontaneous transformation, thanks to their interactivity and their potential of diffusion of “usable knowledge” (Lindblom and Cohen, 1979). Design/methodology/approach – The proposed approach relies on the notion of Living Labs (LLs), or better on that of “Territorial Living Labs” (TLLs). At the heart of the Living Lab approach is the idea of "co-design", through which users participate in the ICT R&D process from the outset. A TLL is a LL taking in particular account the deep link to the community (business, social, cultural) that shifting technology R&D out of the laboratory and into the real world implies, in terms of focusing of the transversal problems of cities and territories, instead of merely the sector of ICT R&D. Originality/value – The above mentioned approach is potentially able to overcome the traditional and despite all persistent dichotomy between socioeconomic activities and spatial planning, as well as between social and technological aspects of territorial innovation. Practical implications – The TLL approach is now under experimentation in the European CIP ICT PSP “Periphèria Project - Networked Smart Peripheral Cities for Sustainable Lifestyles” (http://www.peripheria.eu/). Periphèria is a 30-month Pilot B action funded by the European Commission under the CIP ICT PSP Programme aiming at deploying convergent Future Internet (FI) platforms and services for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles in and across emergent networks of “smart” peripheral cities in Europe. The outcomes of the Periphèria experimentation relate to transformational shifts in urban structures, lifestyles and work styles required to reach economic, social, environmental and cultural sustainability.
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