The SmarterLabs project

The SmarterLabs project

The SmarterLabs project, led by Maastricht University, advances the Living Lab approach to better anticipate upscaling and social inclusion.

The SmarterLabs project advances the Living Lab (LL) approach for cities that wish become ‘smarter cities’. It develops the LL approach regarding two issues: anticipating upscaling and social inclusion. The project initiates and studies smart mobility-related Living Lab experiments in four cities: Bellinzona, Brussels, Graz and Maastricht.

The ‘Smart City Living Lab’ is an emerging approach in European cities. It brings together citizens, policymakers, businesses, and researchers to test smart, ICT-based solutions to urban problems in real-life contexts. However, for urban mobility problems (and energy issues for that matter), solutions that ‘work’ in the particular reality of a Living Lab may not be adopted at a large scale. Urban infrastructure is interwoven with the daily lives of citizens and therefore difficult to change, and large groups may not even have access to ICT-based solutions. The SmarterLabs project develops a novel approach that anticipates such problems in upscaling, and tests the approach through smart mobility Living Lab experiments in four cities.

The SmarterLabs consortium includes universities with complementary knowledge, cities committed to implementation of smart mobility concepts, companies developing such innovations, and organizations representing stakeholder interests.

First results

In the Report on literature review we reviewed literature concerning the challenges of social inclusion and upscaling of Living Labs. Based on these, the Report of Retrospective analyses seeks to learn about local specificities concerning social inclusion and upscaling from past experiences with innovation projects in the four cities (Bellinzona, Brussels, Graz and Maastricht) taking into account their local governance structure. These findings led to an overview of typical constraints on social inclusion and upscaling and ways to anticipate these (see Figure; complete table in Chapter 6 of Report). This Table is applied in the design of the Living Lab experiments that take place over the coming year, in order to anticipate upscaling and inclusion as good as possible.
Marc Dijk, ICIS, Maastricht University

You can find more details (including an introductory video) at


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Please click here to see the full report.