i.lab, a year of innovative solutions to city challenges
The i.lab, the Barcelona laboratory for accelerating sustainable and social urban innovation, presented the results of its first year of activity at the 2019 Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC). “Innovating is understanding the needs of city residents” stressed Ana Paola López, manager of the i.lab project. She also underlined the importance of placing the general public at the heart of the matter, in order to successfully tackle the problems the city faces.
With the aim of encouraging participation in the city’s innovation ecosystem, the i.lab has launched six challenges over the last year which have received proposals from businesses and institutions from thirty different countries, along with work sessions and workshops attended by 1,300 people representing the four vertices of the quadruple helix: society, public administration, the private sector and academic centres.
Watch the video on a year of i.lab activity below:
It also announced its continued collaboration with the DataCity programme, which promotes the use of data to tackle the city's challenges. Judith Libchaber, from DataCityLab, presented the challenge of distributing goods over the last mile. The project is an example of collaboration among various Barcelona City Council agencies —the i.lab, the Municipal Data Office and the Manager's Office for Mobility— and businesses, Ferrovial and the emerging technological companies 300.000 Km/s and Immense Simulations.
The project and data analysis has demonstrated that locating distribution centres at strategic points in Barcelona would mean 55% fewer journeys by polluting vehicles in the city and a 70% reduction in the emissions caused by delivering goods bought online by end customers.
In 2020, the i.lab and municipal areas will be launching new calls for innovative solutions to tackle the city’s challenges. Barcelona is confident that it can continue to innovate through the local and international innovation ecosystem.
And that’s because Barcelona is an innovation laboratory!