Smart city services creation and the living lab approach: testimony from the EPIC project

Wim Vanobberghen, Shenja van der Graaf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the EPIC project was to examine the needs, requirements and added value of a pan European 'smart city' delivery platform for leading ICT companies, specialist SMEs, Living Labs and established and future Smart Cities. Its objective was therefore to explore the particular implications of the cloud platform paradigm as the basis for a pan-European service delivery platform so as to enable a more holistic approach in making European cities smarter. In order to make sure that the platform is best suited for the deployment of new smart city services, one important task of the EPIC project was the creation of different smart city services that each posed different requirements and aspects of the Smart city concept. Secondly, in creating these services, the EPIC project was interested in benefiting from the Living Lab approach which is associated with open innovation and user involvement in early stages of product or service development. The Living Lab methodology developed for the EPIC project generated three services in three pilot cities: a Relocation Service in Brussels (Belgium), an Urban Planning Service in Issy-les-Moulineaux (France) and a Smart Environment Service in Manchester (United Kingdom).

In this chapter, we will focus in particular on the aspect of smart city service development and design in the context of Living Lab research. The Relocation Service pilot will serve as a case study. Drawing on the experiences we encountered and the user tests results we gathered in this study, the aim of is threefold: (1) presenting other European cities with a hands-on experience of how the EPIC project carried out its Living Labs guiding user tests of smart city services, (2) illustrating the benefit of this approach by presenting the most important test results and lessons learned on the level of design, smart city value and sustainability, and, (3) based on our concrete experiences, provide some lessons about daily Living Lab management, especially focussing on the engagement and management of end-users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmarter Cities for a brighter sustainable future
Subtitle of host publicationa global perspective
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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