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Leeds Living Lab

The Leeds Living Lab drives the University’s commitment to embed sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. By bringing together students, staff and our city partners, the Leeds Living Lab can research and test sustainable solutions, enhance our curriculum and tackle global challenges using the University and our communities as a test-bed.

It’s a great example of collaborative working that provides a test-bed for research with impact, delivers innovative operational solutions, and offers students projects that make a real-world difference. It also enhances our community, bringing together people who wouldn’t usually work directly with each other to create amazing new ideas.

Living Lab for Net Zero

Living Lab for Biodiversity

Living Lab for Air Quality

Living Lab for Food Waste

Get involved

The Leeds Living Lab is open to all staff and students across the University. We facilitate interdisciplinary projects on any element of the Sustainability Strategy, and across all social science and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The Sustainability Service can support you to set up and deliver projects, as well as helping to identify and engage partners. It may also be able to offer seedcorn or match funding and small grants for student projects.

Students looking for inspiration from past and present Living Lab projects can read more about ideas for research projects.

Want to find out more? Download the Leeds Living Lab Toolkit.

If you would like to discuss your proposal for a Living Lab project, please email us at


Bodington Fields hosts rescued crayfish

Endangered white clawed crayfish have found a safe haven in the pond at Bodington Fields natural flood management site, following the threat of crayfish plague in Meanwood Beck. Rare white clawed crayfish are the UK's only native, freshwater crayfish, and play an important role in our waterways. Historically they were common in Yorkshire, but populations...

Gair Wood tree planting complete

Named after University Secretary Roger Gair who recently retired after 40 years, the new woodland totalling over 60,000 trees is one of the most significant woodland development schemes in the region.  Since Roger Gair planted the first oak tree on 2 December 2022, 186 members of the community, 102 staff members and 36 students (324...

First trees planted at Gair Wood

The first tree has been planted at Gair Wood, one of the most significant woodland development schemes in the region. Located next to Golden Acre Park, the site will be planted with more than 66,000 trees, a mixture of broadleaf species including oak, alder, hornbeam, wild cherry and silver birch. As they grow they will...

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Blog posts

Living Lab Exploring Geothermal Energy on Campus

Work is starting at a number of locations on campus to test the potential to use geothermal heat to help us heat our campus buildings....

Communicating climate change through interactive art

Gabi Kiryluk, Digital Media student, recently completed her final year research project which utilised digital media to explore how artwork can provide more visceral experiences...

Meaningful climate communication with interactive art

My name is Gabi Kiryluk, a Digital Media final year student, and I am bringing a digital interactive installation to the heart of campus to...

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our Leeds Living Lab work is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.