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Sharing best practice with Europe – Recap of Leeds Digital Festival event on living labs

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

Leeds has been building on its position as a leading digital city by hosting a European event, as part of Leeds Digital Festival, which looked at how living labs can help support the development of Smart Cities.

The event, which was organised in partnership with the European city network EUROCITIES, was opened by EUROCITIES Secretary General, Anna Lisa Boni and included a talk from the Director of the European Network of Living Labs, Zsuzsanna Bodi, which looked at the definition of a living lab and how they have become an important way for cities across Europe to test and develop new ideas and technology.

During the online event, Leeds also revealed plans for its own living lab at the White Rose Park, as well as hearing from the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Manager, Thom Cooper, who provided an overview of the University’s well established campus living lab.

The highlight of the event saw three leading European cities talk about the examples of living labs they had developed in their cities.

Head of Innovation for the City of Turin, Nicola Farronato, discussed how Turin, recently selected by the Italian government as its centre for AI research, is focusing on using specific city districts to test different types of technologies including autonomous mobility services with a focus on vehicles and drones for the transportation of people and things.

Jordán Guardo Vazquez from the city of Bilbao introduced the Zorrotzaurre living lab, a former industrial peninsula in the heart of the city. This peninsula, now transformed into an island, has become a testbed for new technologies linked to topics such a clean mobility and renewable energy generation models.

The final city presentation saw Wim de Kinderen from Brainport Eindhoven, described as the smartest region in the world, discuss the Eindhoven City Pulse lab which was developed by Atos along with a number of partners including Intel, The City of Eindhoven and The Dutch Institute of Safety and Security (DITSS). The lab looks to develop systems and technologies to manage a busy city centre street in Eindhoven famed for its night life.

A link to all the event presentations can be found here.

The event was attended by 90 people with 18 different countries represented.

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