The article discusses the possibility of using the living lab model as tool catalyzing the participatory planning in revitalization process. To create more user-centered environment helps as well for better implementation of the smart city formula. Against the background of foreign-practice examples (USA, Germany), reference was made to the Polish experience gained by the Author being leader of the cooperation between research team at the Gdańsk University of Technology (KUiPR WAPG) and the Gdańsk Foundation of Social Innovation (GFIS) – a non-government organization acting as a facilitator of local community in one of the disadvantage Gdańsk districts Orunia – Św. Wojciech. The cooperation, going beyond the existing academic convention of relations with local neighborhood activists can be described as research on revitalization, in an informal revitalization model of the living lab (R_LLO). The research comprise a number of projects carried out in 2010-2018 which has helped to develop new forms of participatory planning such as urban mentoring and community planning academy.