The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published today a report presenting the journey of implementing a mobility Living Lab in Ispra (Italy). The report highlights the main Living Lab methodologies and suggests a framework tailored to different types of JRC Living Lab projects. Living Labs aim to support the co-creation of new mobility concepts to promote their public acceptance and subsequently a more sustainable and smarter mobility.
Mobility is vital to our economy and society but brings significant negative side effects, from road accidents, to greenhouse gas emissions and congestion. These negative effects are often intensified in cities. While new policies strongly rely on new transport technologies to address these challenges, the new transport solutions might not fully meet people’s needs and expectations. Co-creation and experimentation in real-life settings, as enabled in Living Lab environments, can help overcome this problem.
On 14 December 2021, the European Commission is adopting the new EU urban mobility framework comprising measures to encourage EU countries to develop urban transport systems that are safe, accessible, inclusive, affordable, smart, resilient and emission-free. Building on the 2013 urban mobility package, the new EU urban mobility initiative is highlighting the role of European cities as “living laboratories” where new solutions to urban mobility challenges are designed, tested and implemented. It emphasises the role of public discussion and co-creation of new mobility concepts as vital for their public acceptance.
The JRC Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab: first outcomes are out
In 2019, the JRC set up the Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab (FMS-Lab) in Ispra (Italy) in order to engage citizens and relevant public and private players in the co-creation of innovative mobility solutions. The JRC Science for Policy report titled "JRC Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab (FMS-Lab): conceptual framework, state of play and way forward" presents the journey of setting up the FMS-Lab". This report sets out a theoretical basis to support Living Lab activities through a review and application of some of the main existing Living Lab methodologies.
The report also suggests a framework tailored to different types of JRC Living Lab projects distinguishing four categories of projects based on their respective objectives:
- Business model validation projects,
- Projects focused on the co-creation of solutions,
- Technical validation projects and
- Impact assessment projects.
The experience of the first two years has revealed the main challenges and recommendations to take into account when setting up a Living Lab in the urban mobility field. Living Lab practitioners, researchers, innovators and policy makers could find value in this work, understanding how the existing Living Lab theories and practices can be applied to the mobility context to support the development of new mobility solutions and policies with a human-centric approach.
Our mission in creating the JRC FMS-Lab is to bring the Living Lab concept much closer to the policy, academic and industrial realms. In particular, we are using it as a human-centred policy design and regulatory-support tool to test a variety of mobility-related policy and regulatory approaches in a real-life environment. We aim to stimulate scientific debate on the use of Living Labs to address mobility challenges and accelerate the co-creation of innovative mobility solutions contributing to the smart and green urban transformations. Through multi-stakeholder collaborations, we aim to build a network of mobility Living Labs to promote complementarity and evolve Living Lab research in a consistent and robust manner, advancing all together towards a safe, sustainable and smart human-centred mobility.
JRC Science for Policy report "JRC Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab (FMS-Lab): conceptual framework, state of play and way forward"
Efficient and Green Mobility (europa.eu)
JRC report “The Future of Road Transport”
JRC policy brief “Policy embraces connected and automated vehicles as a tool to solve transport problems. But are people on board?”
- Publication date
- 14 December 2021