VILNIUS LIVING LAB – senior citizens in Aukštamiestis and Art Factory Loftas
The Vilnius Living Lab will be centered on SENIORS (elder person 60 and above years old) as they are a growing population of aging Lithuanian society with specific needs and interests on public spaces. According Arniani et al (2014) “one of the main risks … in citizen engagement is the danger of engaging only those people who are already engaged in an issue, thereby deepening the gap between those already participating and those left-behind”. The elder persons are considered as a vulnerable group, mainly because they risk a reduction in participation in various domains of community life through the loss of paid work, a decrease in income and an increase in health problems. They also possess lower digital competencies to compare with the young generation, but ICT is one of the main factors to improving the quality of life of ageing people.
Thinking about the public space as a service for community, the researchers will analyze how ICT and open space are used together today and from there come up with ideas how to provide the public services in a more efficient way and more specifically tuned to the local context and different community members’ needs. The public space chosen for analysis illustrates good new practice of decreasing gap between age groups, inviting seniors to open space previously used for other age groups and let us follow development of new initiative between municipality, district community and seniors club. So, this will involve multi-stakeholder perspective and new business models such as crowd funding or public-private collaboration in sustainable public development.
The starting point for this investigation will be observation of social media of included stakeholders, inquiry into good models for digital environments, including models questioning users` motivation, incentives for participation of different socio-cultural groups, relationships in the network.
AUKŠTAMIESTIS and ART FACTORY LOFTAS has been chosen not only because of being a new type of cultural spot and starting new initiatives for this age group. Aukštamiestis basically describes area of three-four quarters (blocks) in Naujamiestis district, limited by streets of Švitrigaila, T. Ševčenka, Vytenis and Paneriai. This area includes residential buildings, business residences, business centers, buildings of public (governmental) institutions, university departments, cultural and leisure spots. The main feature of the area is previously industrialized zone. Where the change of industrial situation, in the last decade dictated for a search of new application of industrialized object for daily use. And this has a deeper meaning – as this part of the city for this group of the people had one meaning in their other periods of the life. So it is both about transformation in seniors life and attempts on transformation of industrial zone into public space. As well as the first steps in virtual and ICT based community are done: anyone interested can join Aukštamiestis community on facebook.
LIVING LAB OBJECTIVES
- To complete document analysis and social media observation for description of case conditions, context and create qualitative and quantitative research instruments
- To explore characteristics of cyber open places from social, technological, and urban design perspectives by interviewing stakeholders
- To generalize the scientific results about behavior of focus user group – seniors – based on results of social media monitoring, inquiry and interviews.
The VILNIUS LIVING LAB will advance knowledge and know-how for a co-creation approach reflecting through ICT the needs of seniors. Besides advancing knowledge of the interaction people - places and technologies C3PLACES will tailor the research results to policy-makers and practitioners.
Main cooperating stakeholders in this area are Aukštamiestis to community initiated by Center of Architecture and its main co-operating partners in seniors’ projects.