Systematizing a kaleidoscopic system of City Labs: problems and complexities of transforming results in public value.

Monica Postiglione Erica Mangione Loris Servillo


Mobility, tourism, smart solution, social exclusion, social inclusion, co-design.

Abstract: The paper aims to present an eight living labs case study. In the framework of the H2020 SMARTDEST project focusing on mobility-related forms of social exclusion, eight partners in just as many cities, are asked to set up a city lab to co-design solution for social inclusion. This contribution highlights the challenges that the research team in charge to coordinate the eight labs is facing, as well as critical aspects and opportunities of living labs implementation and outcomes. 

Sustainable cities and digital participation. Analysing and modelling digital social innovation processes in the governance of urban sustainability in Turin and Brussels

Samantha Cenere, Chiara Certomà


Digital social innovation; sustainability; urban; participation; governance

Abstract: The paper describes the preliminary results of first steps of a research project conducted at the University of Turin – ESOMAS Department. The project aims to explore how the recently emerged and diversified domain of Digital Social Innovation (DSI) is equipped for tackling urban sustainability challenges and fueling democratic participation processes. By adopting the analytic perspective of digital geography and critical urban studies, the project explores the operative routines of digital social innovators communities in Turin and Bruxelles, and the multiple “spatialities” generated by the agency of socio-technological actors and supporting DSI initiatives in the city. 

Exploring Methods For Co-Creation In Living Labs

Judy Hong Huang, Tatiana A. Iakovleva, John Bessant


Living lab, co-creation, methodology, user involvement.

Abstract: Living labs adopt different methodological approaches for implementing their co-creation process. In this research in progress, we aim to understand how living lab methods, tools, and other enabling devices, are used to facilitate user involvement and particularly the roles of users during different stages of the innovation process. We interview living labs from different sectors and countries to draw the landscape of practices and the emergence of methods for user involvement within their contextual environment. It shows that living labs use a combination of methods while users iteratively play multiple roles during the innovation process. These collaborative activities take place in a fluid environment, emphasizing the “living” part of labs. Living labs have also learned and adapted to hybrid methods (physical and digital) in recent times.

Building a techno-moral city: reconciling public values, the ethical city committee and citizens' moral gut feeling in techno-moral decision making by local governments

Maarten van Veen, Bart Wernaart


City lab, Ethics, Ethical; Review Board, Citizen participation, Moral design, Moral Data City Hunt

Abstract: It turns out to be quite difficult to steer the development of the city in an ethical direction. Interdisciplinary dilemmas remain at the crossroads of financial, legal, social and administrative aspects regarding the use of technology in relation to its the citizens. Therefore, the city of Eindhoven has set up an ethical framework, ethical review board, and an ethical team.
The aim of this paper is to reflect on the role of the city lab to contribute to ethical awareness of the city. The paper discusses an experiment that was set up together with the Fontys University of Applied Sciences to map the moral positions of the citizen of Eindhoven with the so-called ‘Moral Data City Hunt’. Its aim was to find meaningful ways to better mitigate the interests of the direct and indirect stakeholders in local techno-moral decision making.
To conclude, we will bring our insights from a policy point of view together and reflect on how the city lab can help to offer meaningful and transparent input for techno-moral decision making at the decentralized government level. 

Trans-city data integration platforms: an explorative study on Smart Dublin and Turin City Lab

Nicola Farronato, Matteo Spinazzola, Veronica Scuotto, Marco Pironti


Living lab, innovation ecosystem, smart city, data integration, open data, internet of things

Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on living labs, innovation ecosystems, and the transformation to smart and sustainable cities by exploring the use of a trans-city data integration platform on the smart city programs Smart Dublin and Turin City Lab. Research on living labs and innovation ecosystems is growing and showing increasing interest in the urban scale and the development of smart cities. For the density and interconnectedness of actors and resources, smart cities are believed the perfect grounds for technological and social experimentation, and they may catalyze the transformation toward smart, sustainable, and inclusive societies. Crucially, this requires systematically collecting massive amounts of data from a multiplicity of local stakeholders. While research has often highlighted the opportunities and challenges related to this data collection at the city level, almost no study has yet investigated the potential of aggregating and integrating data from multiple cities via a common infrastructure. This explorative study aims at addressing this gap. Focusing on the smart city programs of Dublin and Turin, it fosters the conceptualization of trans-city data integration platforms and explores their applicability to two real-life smart city living labs. This was achieved by adopting the Quadruple Helix model of innovation, and then by qualitatively analyzing the two smart city programs and 53 subprojects. It was found that initiatives from Smart Dublin and the Turin City Lab disply thematic overlaps and complementarities. Hence, this contributes to the existing literature by showing that a common infrastructure for data collection may be developed. Moreover, it informs policy makers and practitioners on the importance of collecting data that could be easily integrated also across geographies, so as to lead to major advantages of scale in the future. 

How Living Labs support the Quintuple Helix: lessons learnt for a digital transformation

Beatriz Merino-Barbancho, Patricia Abril Jiménez, Ivana Lombroni, Gloria Cea, Irene Mallo, Cristina López Nebreda, Giuseppe Fico and María Teresa Arredondo


Living Lab, Quintuple Helix, society, innovation

Abstract: In the process of growing societies, and especially in the digital societies we are moving towards, there is a need for a strong push for innovation that puts citizens at the centre of the revolution process as a fundamental pillar for building more resilient, cooperative and flexible communities. In recent decades, collaborative design approaches have been put in place to coordinate and manage innovation, facilitating the empowerment of communities and in the end, solving complex challenges. One of the most interesting approaches is the Living Lab (LL), which involves user-centred approach and user-driven innovation by a means to bring together different actors and roles to solve a particular problem. However, while new experiences are emerging that harness innovation and creativity, the potential barriers, enablers and impact for leveraging innovation around these creative environments to facilitate local innovation to be operative, overcome institutional blockage in situation and integrate new roles, sectoral approaches and identify co-development strategies are not clearly understood. This article analyses some of the lessons learned on how living labs can incorporate the Quintuple Helix as a driver to ensure broader participation and cooperation of local actors through the experience gained from the transformation and re-adaptation of the LifeSpace Living Lab after the experience of the ACTIVAGE Large Scale Pilot funded by the European Commission.

NLAB4CIT - Network of Laboratories for Civic Technologies Co-Production: Digital Services for the Public Administrations of the future

Cristina Viano, Alice Zanasi


Civic technologies, Public Administration, Co-design, Digitally enabled co-production

Abstract: Innovation in social services and PA does not only mean the introduction of new technologies to digitize services and for the optimization of work processes, but it also means rethinking the role that citizens (and businesses) have in the public service creation, production and management together with public servants.

NLAB4CIT has the ambition to make public services more accessible making the citizens more active in their design, co-creation and management, demonstrating the applicability of some existing digital solutions in different and new sectors of public services coproduction, widening the understanding of their factor of success and sustainability. The objective of the project is to facilitate citizens access, interaction and active contribution to local public services through co-design, co-creation and co-delivery processes where public administration and citizens collaborate, thanks to digitally enabled innovative solutions (Blockchain, AI, IoT, Augmented Reality, Geolocation in Social Networking, Opinion Formation) that will be provided by a European Network of Civic Technologies