Citizen Science & Living Labs

HOW WOULD YOU INTEGRATE CITIZEN SCIENCE IN YOUR LIVING LAB PROJECTS?

BACKGROUND/HISTORY AND CONTEXT OF THE WORKSHOP

   This workshop is a result of the European research and innovation project iSCAPE (Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe) which aims to develop an integrated strategy for air pollution control in six European cities. During iSCAPE, low-cost air quality sensors were developed and these sensors have been used by citizens during a series of citizen science workshops run by the iSCAPE living labs, following the citizen science framework, developed by Connected Places Catapult (UK). This framework provided the iSCAPE living labs with guidelines and instructions (including tips and relevant materials) for the workshops.

    Having run 12 citizen science workshops across the living labs, the iSCAPE team has gained a wealth of learnings and practical experience in how to use citizen science as a tool for Living Lab activities and public engagement. In addition, Tampere from the UNaLab project will share their learnings from citizen science in measuring water quality in their city. This knowledge will be shared and discussed during the interactive, hands-on workshop too.

MAIN AIM / OBJECTIVE

    The main objective of this workshop is to share knowledge and discuss the potential of using citizen science as a tool for citizen engagement in Living Lab activities. To achieve this, the workshop is structured around an interactive discussion amongst workshop participants, as well as a demonstration of low-costs sensing technologies. During the workshop, participants will be encouraged to develop a tailored action plan for integrating citizen science best practices with their Living Lab approach. 

    The participants, including those from a variety of living labs, will be invited to share experiences of citizen science initiatives, and contribute to discussions surrounding the challenges and opportunities of using low-cost technologies for citizen engagement.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

During the workshop participants will learn about:

 1. What is citizen science and how it can be used across a variety of living labs. A few examples of how citizens science has been used to tackle climate-related challenges by living labs will be provided.

 2. How can living labs incorporate citizen science methodologies in their co-creation and / or citizen engagement activities.

 3. Key steps and considerations to be made when planning citizen science initiatives.

 4. What technologies can be used when undertaking citizen science activities. 

5. First steps towards a citizen science community – the importance of motivation and guidance of the citizen scientists to establish an independent and a long-term collaboration between the living labs and the public.

BRIEF OUTLINE / METHODOLOGY 

METHOD: 

This collaborative workshop leads to an action plan, integrating citizen science with living lab activities, and includes a hands-on sensor exploration. To guide the process, a pre-structured worksheet (A1) is provided as a tool to encourage discussions and gather knowledge from team members. Workshop participants will work in teams (4-5 teams). Each table will form a team with 4-5 participants. 

FLOW: 

1) The session will open with a short introduction to the workshop and expected outcomes. A few examples of how citizen science was used in the H2020 projects (iSCAPE and UNaLab) will be provided. In iSCAPE citizen science has been deployed in exploring the effects of air pollution through the use of Smart Citizen Kit sensors. In UNaLab, the city of Tampere has engaged school children in measuring water quality in their neighbourhoods. A short warm-up exercise will follow the introduction and will not only allow the teams to get to know each other but will also enable the participants to step into the shoes of citizen scientists to gain an empathetic understanding of the task at hand.

 2) The participants will be introduced to the iSCAPE Citizen Science framework. Working on a large worksheet, teams will go through the different stages and elements which should be considered when conducting citizen science initiatives, including value that citizen scientists could bring to the research process.

 3) Upon completion of the exercise, each team will present their work to everyone and gather feedback. We believe that this collaborative exercise will open up new ways of working with the general public/citizens who are interested in researching any given topic of interest.

 4) The final part of the workshop will focus on the Smart Citizen Kit, a hands-on demo of low-cost sensing technologies. This exercise will allow workshop participants to not only have a first-hand experience of using such technologies but also provide an opportunity for the teams to engage in deeper conversations about low-cost technologies. Participants will also have the opportunity to see the water measurement rucksacks that Tampere will showcase from their activities.

Workshop Facilitators

Katinka Schaaf

Service Designer

Santa Stibe

Project Management Professional

Salla Leppänen

Project Planner

Agnieszka Włodarczyk-Gebik

Project Manager

Aleksandra Gabriel

Specialist in European funds and international relations

Ines Vaittinen

International Project Manager