About the Project

Urban Lab Network in V4+ – the innovative tool for smart cities

The main goal of the Project is to create and develop a network of cities in Central and Eastern Europe where urban labs already operate or there is an interest in creating them and joining the Urban Lab Network. Urban Lab is a practical instrument which appeared at a certain stage in the evolution of the smart city idea, and it is widely understood as a city laboratory for
practical testing and implementation of the SMART concept.

The specific objectives of the project are also:
– cooperation of cities and exchange of experience in order to improve the quality of life of the V4 + countries inhabitants,
– promotion of solutions within the Smart City 3.0 concept using the urban lab tool,
– inclusion of municipal authorities and other involved entities in the current discussion on modern solutions in the field of smart city.

Currently, in the V4 countries, urban labs are just beginning to be created, an example of which can be two Polish cities where the Ministry of Investment and Development implements a pilot program coordinated by the Institute of Urban and Regional Development. Similar institutions were not identified in the V4 countries. Therefore, we would like to change this situation by implementing the project and promoting urban labs, so that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe can freely compete, but also cooperate with the Western countries, both in the exchange of modern urban thought and innovative solutions to problems identified in cities. We are convinced that an effective tool in this area can be the urban lab.

Urban lab is an instrument which modern cities need in order to improve the quality of life of their residents. It is particularly desirable and useful in cities implementing initiatives which are part of the smart city idea. The authors of the project see the urban lab as an tool of cooperation between a city and enterprises, scientific entities and NGOs, aimed at improving the quality of life of residents through an innovative solution to identified problems and generating additional value using urban resources. The creation of urban labs in the V4 cities is also aimed at reviving the cooperation of particular stakeholder groups, in line with the quadruple helix concept, which will directly contribute to inducing local development by combining complementary public sector potentials (City Hall) with the potentials of social (NGO), private and educational sector. In turn, establishing a cooperation network for Central European cities, in which urban labs function actively, will contribute directly to the exchange of their experiences and good practices in solving urban problems, also using urban data and resources that cities have and could be made available to residents. As a result of these activities and the implementation of urban labs in selected cities, we assume the following effects:
– promote the idea of urban labs and to attract the attention of urban residents to their real impact in solving city problems, provided they are actively involved in these activities,
– increasing the level of competitiveness of these cities and the level of local entrepreneurs.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Project implementation period has been prolonged for six months – until 31/07/2021.