The Governance Lab Utrecht (GLU) is:
- an experimental lab;
- a living lab;
- a design and innovation lab;
- a simulation lab.
While not all of these types of experimental research require specific lab facilities, the availability of a space and expertise center will encourage and strengthen experimental research into governance.
Researchers undertake different types of experiments: lab experiments with and without student subject-samples, field experiments and survey experiments. The experiments differ in the complexity of the design (e.g. basic, factorial), and in the subject design (between-subjects, within-subjects).
Living labs aim at co-creation of innovative solutions to urgent problems at the city level, together with residents, users and multiple stakeholders in a real-life context. Although living labs usually serve as company-driven platforms, the living lab of GLU will have minimum commercial interests, and rather serve as a university-led and provider-driven platform for ordinary citizens to be involved in the planning of their city.
Design and innovation lab
Researchers use design thinking, especially rapid prototyping in the face of urban problems, to co-create public sector solutions. Interactive sessions will result in innovative designs and new approaches to (wicked) problems. Facilities for creative sessions and supporting expertise are provided by the GLU.
Researchers engage in prediction of likely and less likely scenarios. Computational work, starting with informed assumptions, is used to model and simulate applied micro-policy and aggregated macro-policy future events and different potential scenarios. For example, researchers simulate the future of a specific policy to be implemented, starting from the assumptions of agents with bounded rationality.