This process of co-creation sessions through the Social Policy Lab in URBANITE [1] helps us to identify social challenge associated with the use of disruptive technologies in the provision of services by public administrations, specifically in terms of design and urban mobility policies. In this sense, special attention has been paid to the attitude and trust in the use of technologies by public servants and end users.

In this first session, entitled “Ask: defining challenges and formulating shared values and principles”, which was held between the end of January and the beginning of February 2021, the main objective was the formulation and definition of challenges and shared values.

New mobility technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. In Amsterdam there are many attempts to build data sharing platforms collecting the data generated by these technologies.

SoPoLab [2] meetings include those who had been in previous discussions to formally consider local attitudes, challenges, capacities and current context about disruptive technologies and participatory mobility.  Their pilot will focus on identifying and unifying existing (open) data sources; and on citizen inclusion and communication regarding new mobility polices and approaches.

In the city of Bilbao, Bilbao Open Data Policy aims to promote the development of user-centric mobility services. These distributed and non-standardized data approach derives in a misuse of information to really understand the mobility and patterns of the city to lead into the best policies and mobility services implementation. In this way, it is intended to know the barriers, attitude, trust and motivation that generates them and figure out also the main links to ethical issues. To increase the engagement between the participants, discussion threads are going to be scheduled in a timeline resulting in a defined time slot to focus on each specific issue.

 A Mural Map reflecting the main findings and outcomes from the First SoPoLab session in Bilbao

The scope of URBANITE’s Jätkäsaari pilot in Helsinki is to help traffic planners to control congestion and provide them a better understanding of the big picture of mobility in the area. Traffic planning and traffic management needs up-to-date and high-quality traffic information to support data-driven decision making, for example, considering the needs, the expectations and the goals – how to get “real-time picture of traffic situation”. Merging and unifying all the information gained so far, a deeper understanding of needs, expectations and questions was conceived, and the challenges identified were mainly about the quality of 

the data gathered (portability, availability and compatibility), the co-operation with stakeholders and the ecosystem building.

The city of Messina presents a linear city style (sea front). Is investing a lot in infrastructure and smart services for the city and citizens. The idea is to incrementally involve more stakeholders and experts within the URBANITE SoPoLabs, that would serve as a meeting point and networking space for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Forum. The stakeholders identified some of their activities and project that could be supported by the tools developed in URBANITE, such as the definition of SUMP, in particular for improving the planning actions and for the participation of citizens in the decision activities, and for the management of the parking areas.

The next steps in the implementation of the co-creation process through the Social Policy Labs are articulated in three main aspects: 1) Content. Work on improving the use of disruptive technologies by public services. 2) Process. Articulate more agile dynamics and activities, more provocative discussions and more fluid communication. 3) Infrastructure. Support the networking and community building of the different communities that are being generated in each city, to help improve debate and discussion through functionalities that enable open discussion on the different topics that have been identified in the cities and to improve awareness in society on the use of disruptive technologies by making available to the project information and communication channels through which cities can report on the progress made in URBANITE in each city.



  1. Hassan, Z. (2014). The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving our Most Complex Challenges. Stanford Social Innovation Review.
  2. Costa, D. (2021, May 25). URBANITE’s SoPoLabs - Collective creativity and participation producing social value. Urbanite Project Website.