Urban Living Lab Playground: The Game


The ULL Playground is the spontaneous outcome of an EU project called UNaLab that aims at establishing Urban Living Labs (ULLs) for the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) as a resilience mechanism towards water and climate-related challenges. In this case, the NBS are co-created interventions on the urban environment with citizens and local stakeholders. As the project and the co-creation activities moved on, the UNaLab team realised that the fundamentals of ULLs and their role in a city affected by a climate related challenge were not fully understood. This is why some project partners together with ENoLL decided to design a game, to share the cornerstones of the ULL activities: how it functions; who are the staff members working there; what co-creation tools can be used to engage citizens, etc. This is why we are joining forces with our fellow EU project iSCAPE, that deals with air pollution interventions in cities through Living Labs (LLs). Their representatives’ expertise on this particular urban climate challenge will be essential for those tables playing the air pollution challenge. In iSCAPE, the climate challenges are being tackled through Passive Control System (PCS) interventions in the cities, such as Low Boundary Walls, trees & hedges and photocatalytic coatings – in connection with behavioural change interventions to promote changes in transport mode choice and activity patterns.


Ultimately, participants will learn how an ULL functions and how it can bring in city stakeholders together to fight a given climate challenge. The gamified approach aids creative thinking and helps challenge solvers to look at the problem from a different perspective / with a fresh set of eyes. By bringing together a diverse mix of participants, the game helps to break down barriers to communication through a storytelling approach. The climate-related challenges that are explored in this workshop are: – Air pollution: participants joining the air pollution tables are exploring the process of an ULL and co-creation tools in creating innovative ideas and solutions to air pollution challenges. – Water scarcity, Flooding, Global Warming, Rapid Densification, Water Pollution & Habitat loss / Fragmentation: are the other climate-related challenges explored in this workshop, distributed among the players by chance. In addition, the game facilitates learning of different elements in an ULL, through specific cards: – Benefit cards, in order to explore the economic, social and environmental benefits of the solutions – ULL staff role cards, in order to learn about the different roles and skills in an ULL – Tools cards, to learn about different kinds of engagement tools and how to apply them throughout your innovation journey – Stakeholder cards, to learn about the main actors affected by the urban challenge and those who are involved in the urban innovation process – Emotion cards, to place empathy as a central role in the human-centered approach adopted throughout the process!


What will the participants learn: 1. What is an ULL and how does it function in a simulated real-life environment 2. How can a city employ an ULL to connect with the quadruple helix stakeholders, including citizens 3. Wide range of co-creation tools and methods that can be used to work together with the citizens 4. How does co-creation work when addressing complex urban challenges and developing NBS and PCS 5. How can the gamified approach facilitate shared understanding and storytelling Participants will be invited to learn more about NBS, PCS, Urban Living Labs and co-creation tools through the handbooks and toolkits that are being/have been developed within the EU projects – UNaLab and iSCAPE.


Method: Serious game, because it follows the structure of a traditional game but with a learning element Flow: The session will open with a short presentation on the Urban Living Lab Playground Game – why this game was developed, its context and most importantly how to play it. Afterwards the discussion will shift to table groups, where the facilitator will take on the role of guiding the participants through the game and making sure that the discussion is flowing. This is an interactive session during which all participants will actively contribute by playing their cards. When the game is finished we talk about some real-life examples of climate challenges that cities face (and participants work with) and reflect on the game itself – what did participants like about it, what could be changed and what are their main take-outs. Materials: Tables with chairs for participants Playing board and playing cards (provided by WS organiser) Markers (provided by WS organiser) Projector (screen on which we can show a PPT presentation)


UNALAB project: https://unalab.eu/

iSCAPE project: https://iscapeproject.eu/

Video of the 1st edition of the Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Workshop Facilitators

Juan Antonio Bertolin

Managing Director

Abdolrasoul Habibipour

PhD In Information Systems