INTRODUCTION // POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The city can be regarded as a living organism that is subject to constant change. It is an interplay of large and small dynamic operations, visible and invisible. 36 urban engineers dive under the skin of this organism that is Amsterdam and reveals its hidden processes. They come from different places, have different backgrounds, and envision different societies, but all of them strive to improve the city. While some of them explore the possibilities of creating competitive innovation hubs, others seek to devise ways to monitor flows of resources and people in more efficient ways. They do this by starting at the city’s most elementary particle: the people. This is the living lab philosophy: turning city-users into city-creators, bringing power to the ones that are most involved.
WHO ARE WE // URBAN INNOVATORS
We are students operating from the AMS Institute with backgrounds in architecture, civil engineering, environmental sciences, innovation sciences, and more. In the technical master program Metropolitan Analysis Design and Engineering (MADE), a joint degree of TU Delft and Wageningen University, we learn to use our specific expertise to collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams to solve challenges in the urban environment. Contrary to regular technical students, we learn to adopt a socio-technical perspective in facing the city's challenges by looking not only at science but also at the social environment, governance, and the economy. With an entrepreneurial mindset, we have the ambition to create solutions that not only work in the classroom but mainly in the complex environment of the contemporary city. This showcase of our living labs is the first step of a career as urban innovators.
REVEALING AMSTERDAM // A LOOK INTO OUR LIVING LABS
Find out more about the Living Lab projects by clicking on them on the map! End results of each project can be found at the end of this page.
“The beauty of co-creation is to see the outcome of your project emerging from the process you steer and curate but never subdue to a vision from above. Together with Accenture and key stakeholders we explored the future of the energy and mobility transition establishing the roots into the uncertainty for change to successfully happen.”
Federica Cefis Colombo (Innovation Architect)
APPROACH // LIVING LABS
INNOVATION AND CREATION
Urban Living Labs approach innovation by engaging multiple actors/users to develop and experiment in real-life settings. Innovation and co-creation are two core components of Living Labs. Co-creation is when a group of people from different backgrounds and perspectives come together to work on developing an urban solution to a defined challenge. In this process, new concepts, methods, products, or services are developed i.e. innovation.
The Living Lab methodology helps in designing potential solutions to problems that may be too complex for public institutions to handle on their own. By facilitating the co-creation process with experts and a diverse set of stakeholders, our Living Labs engaged in participatory and listening-orient approaches for experiential learning by each participant. The co-creation process can bring about the development of new technologies like a data-driven prediction model, the designing of new processes such as a novel business model, or the implementation of an alternative infrastructure like a greywater waste system.
The potential of a wide variety of collaborations between different organizations and members in society means that innovative solutions can become more integrated into our living environment. Establishing a shared understanding of the issues at hand helps in creating acceptable measures to reach a mutual goal. Thus, the solutions that are created become embedded in the social, environmental, technical, and economic context in which they are envisioned for which results in broader impact and more continuous transitions.
PROCESS // CO-CREATION
Co-creation is a form of collaboration, in which all participants influence the process and the result. It is about the collective development of new value in the form of either concepts, methods, solutions, products, or services.
Co-creation places the designer not above but at the same level of the end-user. Thus, the biases of the designer do not affect the eventual solution while the local knowledge of each stakeholder is taken into account.
Co-creation is all about having a co-creative mindset that is not focused only on results. If the end result is already set in stone, you do not need co-creation.
True co-creation only happens when a high level of co-decision power is established. This refers to more than just consulting the stakeholder and involves truly handing over the decision power to the stakeholder
"True innovations commonly happen when unexpected stakeholders get involved"
- dr. ir. Bas van Vliet
PRODUCTS // DELIVERABLES OF LIVING LAB PROJECTS
For more info on Ons Parlement Strandeiland, click here
iMPACT // SHARE YOUR STORY
The Living Lab way of working is an unique way to create and test metropolitan solutions on a local scale. The engagement of a wide range of stakeholders: citizens, private, public and knowledge institutions results in projects that solve complex challenges that make an impact on a large scale.
Testing in the real-life context creates unique opportunities in a transition towards a sustainable and just Amsterdam. The visibility throughout the city helps to engage people to think about metropolitan challenges and actively tackle them on a local scale.
The 8 MSc. MADE Living Labs contributes to this engagement by revealing challenges and creating solutions throughout the whole city.
Are you inspired? Would you like to reveal a part of your city? A challenge or a solution?
Send us an e-mail and share with us how you contribute to the transition towards a sustainable city! We will upload your stories, ideas, pictures and more to a slideshow at the end of this website.
CONTACT // KEEP IN TOUCH
If you wish to know more about the MADE programme and its Living Lab projects do not hesitate to contact the programme coordinator or the student board.
If you want to reach out to some of the students and find out about other projects they are working on, follow our LinkedIn page!