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On March 7 2019 in Utrecht (NL) the SmarterLabs team presented the project outcomes including guidelines for "smarter" Living Labs
28 March 2019
SUPSI, Dipartimento ambiente costruzioni e design, Campus Trevano, Canobbio
The SmarterLabs project developed action research in four living lab experiments dealing with the challenges typically affecting urban mobility transformations. The project involved teams of academics, municipalities, and NGOs across Europe, who collectively learnt from the living lab experiments in each city. The Swiss team engaged researchers from SUPSI, policy-makers from the city of Bellinzona, and the Provelo Ticino NGO.

During almost three years, action research experiments took place in Living Labs in four European cities: Bellinzona (CH), Brussels (BE), Graz (AT), and Maastricht (NL). Researchers, practitioners, politicians, civil servants and citizens engaged in participation processes and learned from each other. The SmarterLabs team closely followed these processes and analysed them with regards to potential barriers to successful outcomes. The focus was put on two often observed challenges in Living Labs: upscaling and social inclusion. The outcome of the SmarterLabs project was the identification of common and recurrent barriers and the development of  anticipation strategies to address and overcome them. What stands at the end is a "practitioners brief" - guidelines on how to best set up and facilitate a Living Lab. These are complemented by a "policy brief" in the shape of a short video, which introduces the concept of a Living Lab.

The final SmarterLabs conference was co-organized with the Dutch company platform31, which made it possible to connect SmarterLabs to three other projects, that also dedicated their work towards the challenge of upscaling inclusive urban experiments. State-of-the art findings of four different research consortia were brought together: SmarterLabs, Smart Cycling Futures, R-Link and Mobiele Stad. They shared experiences from the cities of Brussels, Bellinzona, Graz, Maastricht, Utrecht, Zwolle, Groningen and Den Bosch. Based on these experiences, the participants reflected on the SmarterLabs guidelines; the overall conclusion was that they are a useful tool for practitioners to solve common challenges in Living Labs.  ‚Ä®Another highlight of the conference was a keynote speech by Jos van den Broek on learnings from experiments in various areas such as water management, agriculture and developmental aid.
The guidelines and the video are currently available in English; they will soon be available in Italian, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish as well.

Know more:

Francesca Cellina
P +41 (0)58 666 62 61