SLU news

SLU and Botildenborg strengthen collaboration and create a new Living Lab

Published: 09 November 2023
Two people smile in a farmland.

The Botildenborg Foundation in Malmö uses food and cultivation to contribute to practical solutions for social, economic and ecological sustainability. Together with SLU Urban Futures, a joint Living Lab is being designed at Botildenborg where enhanced collaboration can lead to new research, new projects and more student collaborations.

Botildenborg is an award-winning farm and idea-based organisation that since 2013 has developed a unique meeting place in Malmö, characterised by social activities linked to sustainable food production. Botildenborg's social innovations have created a space where both people and knowledge have the opportunity to grow. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, and Botildenborg have collaborated in various ways over the years, and now the relationship will be further strengthened through a new collaboration with the SLU Urban Futures platform.

A dynamic innovation environment

In order to address current - and future - challenges, traditional approaches need to be complemented with new forms of collaboration and co-production of knowledge, which can be faster implemented in society. Living Labs can be one of these approaches. SLU Urban Futures has been studying the Living Lab format, which can be described as an innovation environment where experimentation, collaboration and co-creation are at the centre. Urban Living Labs can mobilize science-society collaborations as means to learn from and experiment with novel processes, actor-constellations and practices otherwise often impossible to set up in typical urban settings.

Together with the Botildenborg Foundation and local partners, the platform is now exploring how a Living Lab can be developed on the farm, with the aim of conducting research on social innovations and disseminating knowledge both nationally and internationally. This collaboration offers new opportunities for research and education and a place to build transdisciplinary capacities as well as knowledge for transformative science.


More about Botildenborg

Botildenborg uses food and cultivation as tools to contribute to a sustainable future for several different target groups. Newly arrived refugees come to Botildenborg to grow food and find work, the long-term unemployed are offered job training to re-enter the workforce, preschool children are invited to the School Garden, and seniors grow food to combat loneliness and improve health. Botildenborg also has a small-scale urban farm, Stadsbruk, with its own production for kitchens and sales. Students and entrepreneurs for training programs in food production and cultivation are always warmly welcomed. 


More about SLU Urban Futures 

SLU Urban Futures is a strategic research platform with the mission to inspire and support the faculties of SLU to initiate, develop and strengthen multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research, education and collaboration within the field of sustainable urban development.

Read more about SLU Urban Futures
Read more about Living Labs


Nina Vogel, Programme Director of SLU Urban Futures and Researcher at SLU affiliated to the Governance and Management theme group at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, SLU Alnarp

Phone: +46 727 044 064