Athens’ Living Lab under RADICAL: overview

12033110_921805704541119_6263701525307583056_nThe Athens living lab has evolved during Radical project lifecycle focusing on the co-creation of two mobile applications addressing the domains of Cycling Safety Improvement and Augmented Reality in PoIs, namely CycleSafe and Athens Augmented Reality.

Cyclesafe includes functionalities such as  recording the participant cyclists routes in order for the Municipality of Athens to be able to retrieve and analyse statistical information, to draw a behavioural analysis and proceed with decisions related to preparation and introduction of cycling safety infrastructure for the city of Athens, and collecting reports on incidents related to cycling safety,  as for instance road conditions on the one hand, and in order for the cyclists to be able to proceed with route planning and conclude with their transportation decisions based upon traffic and weather data provided, on the other hand.

Cyclesafe application has been developed both for Android and iOS smartphones, was tested in real-time conditions for the first time on May 2015 and can be found on Playstore following the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.radical_project.cyclesafe

 

Athens Augmented Reality (Athens AR-A tour of the Municipal buildings of historical importance) includes functionalities such as providing building information on a map along with photos and other visual material so that citizens and visitors can take a virtual walk in historic buildings of the Municipality of Athens.

Athens AR application has been developed both for Android and iOS smartphones, was tested in real-time conditions for the first time on May 2015 and can be found on Playstore following the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.radical_project.athens.athensar

But in order for the Athens Living Lab community and ecosystem to be able to deliver the final pilot applications that can be now downloaded and used on a daily basis, and more importantly, in order to be able to co-create the applications taking into account the Radical project provisions and the actual needs of the targeted users, a series of activities ranging from individual meetings to build trust, focus-groups to ensure engagement and workshops to brainstorm on the users’ needs and requirements, were organized and successfully held. 4 Living Labs iterations and 4 periods of time to involve all relevant stakeholders and produce valuable results, and a community of everyday people, professionals, and decision-makers among others. Moreover, a wide range of intangible returns after Radical Living Labs activities may be enlisted, such as for instance knowledge transfer, political decisions on IoT infrastructure, and a community of people empowered, voiced and valued.

In essence, the most important motive that should govern living lab activities is the ownership over what is created (co-created) during these activities. Moreover, it has become evident that this ownership must somehow or clearly relate to benefits or return to people after being part of the living lab activities.  An inner and high-level motivation that the result of a living-lab activity (product, service, idea etc) will improve the quality of life may be a quite good starting point, but it is not enough to keep people engaged. This is also related to the way people are used to doing things. In places were co-creation has been established as a principal way of social interaction, living lab activities are part of every-day life, but in places where this interaction is newly introduced, it requires a lot of effort and time to change.