C3PLACES aims to explore the possibilities of ICT as a fuel and tool to enhance the attractiveness, responsiveness, and inclusiveness of public open spaces, boosting the transformation of public space into a place with a meaning for users. An inclusive and accessible urban community is one where the diversity of people’s back-grounds and circumstances is given its proper space and it is appreciated to generate mutual enjoyment through citizens’ cooperation. Co-creation initiatives and social cohesion should be based on the broad citizen engagement and community participation. A vibrant society must rely on initiatives and cooperation of the citizens to be able to attain the desired quality of life. For this purpose, Living Labs provide a qualified procedural approach to ensure better social cohesion and the integration various strands of activities, especially when they are supported by making use of advantages and opportunities ICT and their devices offer.
The following aspects have to be taken into consideration to transform public open spaces into open co-created places:
Users of public space may differ in a multitude of factors, such as predominant age, gender, religion, nationality and language, physical and mental abilities, standard of living, level of education, 'majority' or to a marginalised segment of the population. This diversity must be considered when improving quality of public open spaces and defining participatory living dynamics through ICT.
The Ghent Public Space Living Lab
The Ghent Public Space Living Lab is located in a public park and square that connect to the newly build library of the future “De Krook”. Currently, the park is very low-tech compared to “De Krook” which is the main public hub for innovative technologies in Ghent. This location thus opens the opportunity to take technology to the open space and explore how it can change the use, experience, and perceived quality of this space. It also opens the opportunity for a combined indoor-outdoor experience. The area of application can be extended to Muinkpark and Muinkaai which are very close by and have a more tranquil recreational character to form a loop that is currently perceptually not very strong.
Lisbon: Alvalade Living Lab
Case study Lisbon will be developed in the neighborhood Alvalade which constitutes a distinctive and paradigmatic modernist model in the history of Lisbon’s urban planning. It is organized in eight “housing unit” cells, built around a central core – the primary school. Teenagers are the main focus of the case study. To better understand their behaviors, needs and expectations on public spaces, the research will be built on workshops with teenagers to be organized with a secondary school Padre António Vieira. The pilot workshop will be conducted with 7th grade students. In later stages, the workshops are expected to be extended to other Alvalade schools and to 11th grade students.
The Milano Living Lab
The grand opening of a new 161,400-square-foot public space at Porta Nuova Garibaldi unleashed new community interactions in a less developed area. Porta Nuova or “new gate” is a trio of mixed-use developments designed to revitalize a long-abandoned area and reunite the adjacent neighborhoods of Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine. The 71-acre master plan encompasses a full range of residential, retail, office, hotel, educational, government, cultural and social-function space. Porta Nuova promises to restore a sense of harmony and balance among the three neighborhoods, while setting a new benchmark for urban developments throughout Europe.
The Vilnius Aukštamiestis Living Lab
Aukštamiestis is a district in Vilnius currently undergoing a creative conversion in former or existing factory spaces and courtyards. This part of town has extensive industrial heritage and therefore a huge creative potential. The project is intended to provide spaces and opportunities for creative people to implement their ideas without feeling the constraints of time or space. The vision of Aukštamiestis is a metropolitan industrial district with creative and entertaining solutions. The project is developed through annual workshops including community members, architects, urbanists, students, municipality and other interested parties.