The activities related to co-creation in URBANITE project are mainly performed through what we call SoPoLabs (Social Policy Labs) which see the involvement of the stakeholders which revolve around urban mobility. In Messina SoPoLabs have brought stakeholders and policy makers to discuss about common issues, in order to find shared solutions on urban mobility for the Municipality. Since the start of the URBANITE project, three SoPoLabs have been held and they have brought interesting results.
The first SoPoLab was held on 29th of January 2021 online because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it saw the partners of URBANITE project share with local stakeholders the project objectives and the opportunities offered by the application of co-creation approaches and of disruptive technologies in urban mobility planning.
The shared objectives identified in the first SoPoLab, which became the focus of the following, concerned the promotion of disruptive technologies to avoid the isolation of the municipal departments in terms of data and processes, the involvement of technical groups that could actively support the decision-making processes and finally the possible areas of intervention to improve urban mobility in the city of Messina.
The road towards the second SoPoLab in Messina started from the results achieved enlarging the community by involving more stakeholders, it took place on 17th December 2021 at the offices of the Municipality of Messina.Several local stakeholder were involved such as Alma Digit (also partner in URBANITE project), the Mobility department of Messina Municipality, ATMSpa (Municipal Transport Company), Caronte&Tourist (private shipping company of Messina), University of Messina and others. The issues of urban mobility in Messina were discussed and the participants shared their point of view on the key needs and ways to improve urban mobility services with focus on sustainable mobility and multi-modal transport.
In the period between the first SoPoLab event and the second one, the Municipality of Messina, with the support of Alma Digit, also promoted the use of the participatory democracy platform developed by the URBANITE project (based on DECIDIM) among their departments and local stakeholders, to collect the different stakeholders' points of view on the relevant urban mobility issues that emerged during the second SoPoLab.
Starting from the instances of the DECIDIM platform, the intention was to expand the audience to other stakeholders but especially to citizens, thereby arriving to the realisation of the third SoPoLab in Messina.
The third SoPoLab event in Messina took place at the University of Messina on 16th May 2022, as part of the international event CCGrid 2022. During the event three thematic panel sessions were organised with experts in the domain of urban mobility and were open to the public. The third SoPoLab was an important moment for discussion and to gather ideas and inspiration on the urban mobility issues that have been identified during the previous SoPoLab events. The interventions from the audience were important to conclude the event in a constructive way for future activities.
The main outcome of this third appointment was the identification of specific strategic objectives that should be addressed by local policy makers. The Municipality of Messina aims to concretized the identified objectives through the identification of funding opportunities for the future political strategies.
For this reason an additional SoPolab, the 4th, will take place in the near future during which the results of the previous events will be summarised and discussed with local policy makers and experts in order to develop concrete plans useful for urban mobility in the city of Messina.