Living lab for issues of sustainability

Through the Living Lab, the university campus is used as a space for experimentation by students, university employees, academic staff and external partners who come together to work out innovative ways to make the campus more sustainable. 

Students and researchers work on practical issues of sustainability related to Ghent University, in an interdisciplinary setting, together with external partners and employees from the relevant services at Ghent University (such as the Environment Office and the Department of Infrastructure and Facility Management).

This unique collaboration enables us to:

  1. Make the university sustainable
  2. Work with all stakeholders to learn together and research topics related to sustainability
  3. Equip students with the skills to confront complicated issues of sustainability

How your gift can make a difference:

In order to keep experimenting and share our results, we need a budget for prototypes, materials, and actions on campus... Even a modest donation can make a huge difference to the learning process and the results!

You can support this research right away by making a donation via bank transfer to the following account: BE26 3900 9658 0329, (BIC: BBRUBEBB); including the message: ‘FW_1037” or “Living labs”.

University Fund of Ghent University
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Ghent, Belgium

Your gift is tax deductible starting from €40 per year.

Background information

Ghent University has an express ambition to find solutions for the great ecological, social, and economic challenges facing us today. Now more than ever, this ambition is inspired by our teaching and research, but also in the running of the university itself! Our sustainability policy and sustainability report outline the steps that Ghent University is taking to shape and accelerate our transition to a sustainable society, the results we achieve through this, and how we want to further develop our sustainability vision and put this into practice in new actions.

One of the strengths of our sustainability policy is that it helps us combine forces. Bringing together expertise, engagement, and policy makes for a winning formula so we can go beyond ‘business as usual’.

This is also what we do with the living labs. We work together sustainability-related issues that we face, as a university or as society, and use our university buildings as a testing ground to try out possible solutions. 

The Living Lab was developed together with the Stadsacademie, an interdisciplinary research consortium of Ghent University and the city of Ghent that focuses on social and ecological problems. With funds from the Flemish Climate Fund, a two-year pilot project was set up on the Sterre campus, and this is now being upscaled to the other Ghent University campuses.


living lab

Transforming a car park into a green meeting place, in combination with a softening experiment in which thesis students research the best seed mixtures for restoring biodiverse vegetation on a softened footpath in the Sterre campus;

eco design challenge

Students from biology and industrial design presenting solutions that they have developed for a greener and more social campus, during the final presentation of the ‘Ecodesign Challenge’, a collaboration with BOS+, the Environment Office, the Faculty of Sciences, Vlaanderen Circulair and GLIMPS;

neighbourhood safari

A neighbourhood safari in collaboration with the HOGENT Living Lab, during which teachers, researchers, students, and residents of the neighbourhood near the Sterre and Schoonmeersen campuses could come and discover sustainability research and initiatives on the campuses.