Living Lab: Healthy Heidelberglaan

A close-up of one of the sensors at the heidelberglaan.

Real Estate & Campus is working on an attractive Utrecht Science Park centre that enhances livability on campus, where it is pleasant to work, study and meet. To this end, the public space will be redesigned, specifically around the Heidelberglaan.  

In 2023, under the leadership of the campus development team (part of Real Estate & Campus, Utrecht University), the design process started for the redevelopment of Heidelberglaan. This redevelopment should contribute to a healthy living environment: an ambition that is shared both nationally in spatial planning, and on a local level by Utrecht University and the municipality.  

Presently, the living lab is established to measure a number of aspects throughout the Heidelberglaan, such as the climate adaptation, the air quality, and how people experience this space. The measurements and experiments that are part of this living lab will help to make a suitable and good design for the Heidelberglaan.  

How it started 

As the planning for the Heidelberglaan redevelopment started to progress, campus development project manager Stephan Troost, found that the redevelopment process was very suitable to conduct a living lab. Together with UULabs, Stephan invited a variety of researchers and stakeholders like the RIVM and Province of Utrecht to discuss the possibilities of monitoring activities at the Heidelberglaan, to inform the redevelopment.  

Knowledge related to healthy urban living is literally available around the Heidelberglaan, in the minds of researchers and students on campus. This Living Lab is a great opportunity to unite their know-how and ideas, and implement it, in order to improve our own campus.

Stephan Troost, Project Leader campus development
Biodiversity restoration to make a Healthy Heidelberglaan.


This living lab has a multi-stakeholder dimension, as there are ongoing partnerships with the Province of Utrecht, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Data and Knowledge hub Healthy Urban Living, IRAS, and WeCity.  

Newest update

The Living Lab started in Spring 2023, when six air quality sensors ("heiboxen") were installed on lighting poles. Currently, other possible aspects to monitor are being explored, such as heat stress and use of the public space, in order to understand the present situation and what could be improved in the future. Also, researchers are looking into testing some small scale interventions, like green walls. If successful, then they will be able to scale-up when the redevelopment process begins at Heidelberglaan. Researchers are constantly on alert for new opportunities, like inviting other researchers and the Hogeschool Utrecht. 

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

Think you can make a valuable contribution? Then get in touch with Stephan Troost

To see which other UULabs living labs there are, view the campus map.