Living Lab

Cranfield University Living Laboratory is a testbed for transformative technologies and new approaches to deliver enhanced social, economic and environmental outcomes in urban, transport and infrastructure systems. With our own airport, solar power farm and range of large-scale facilities, the Cranfield campus is a microcosm of a modern city, where it is possible to experiment with innovation at scale using all of the infrastructure of an urban environment.

Launched in 2015, the Living Laboratory centres on interaction between all Cranfield staff (academic and support staff), students and stakeholders. It is a springboard to drive integrated, transdisciplinary research, learning programmes and collaboration between Cranfield researchers and external partners.

The Cranfield community of University staff, students and partners from industry work together to co-design solutions to pressing real-world issues and problems. From projects to improve business management and finance processes, to tackling and trying to reverse climate change, our Living Laboratory is leading efforts to secure sustainable societal growth, technological transition, and resilience in an integrated way.

Biodiversity plot
Biodiversity plot

Urban Observatory

Cranfield Urban Observatory, with its campus-wide sensor network, is a key component of the Living Laboratory and facilitates research projects, securing links between the expertise, facilities and overall capabilities of our unique campus. Data from the Urban Observatory is in turn used in teaching and learning.

Cranfield University Urban Observatory is one of a network of six urban observatories, which have been established through UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) funding. This network of connected urban infrastructure observatories allows long term monitoring of real-world urban infrastructure systems. A key objective is to capture and understand the complex interactions between infrastructure, the environment and society.

Our Urban Observatory has been funded under EPSRC grant number EP/P016782/1, and support from the UKCRIC Coordination node, EPSRC grant number EP/R017727/1, which funds UKCRIC's ongoing coordination.

Further information about the UKCRIC Urban Observatory network can be found at www.urbanobservatory.ac.uk, and the UKCRIC website.

Building 146 air quality sensors


The Living Lab and Urban Observatory are cross-campus projects involving a team of academic and professional services staff and students from across the university. We also work closely with industry, government and stakeholder partners.

Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved!

Living Lab teamworking