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Living Lab 3:1: Exploring sustainable citizenship

Living Lab Riksten - prototyping future practices together with 14 households in the area.

A key part of the research in Mistra SAMS phase 2 is designing, implementing, and sustaining living labs that can provide empirical material and spaces for transdisciplinary learning within the programme. We use a design approach to co-create and iterate all parts of the living lab with different stakeholders and test prototypes of the future in everyday life.

14 co-researchers engaged in Living Lab Riksten

September 2022 saw the launch of Mistra SAMS’ Living Lab Riksten, set in the semi-suburban area Riksten outside of Stockholm in the municipality of Botkyrka. To set up the living lab, we held co-creative workshops and interviews with citizens who live and work in Riksten, as well as with public actors and market actors with connections to the area. We analysed the needs and interests of these actors in relation to the possibility of phasing out car dependency. All in all, fourteen co-researchers living in Riksten were engaged to take part in the living lab. Through a smartphone application that we developed and launched for the living lab (SAMSAS), these participants have access to electric bicycles placed strategically in Riksten and to a co-working hub in nearby Tullinge. The participants have also set individual goals to reduce car use and will track their car journeys using the app.

Prototyping future practices together

The living lab is designed on the assumption that to change travel behaviour, people need to try new ways of travelling and find these new mobility practices meaningful and feasible in their everyday lives. Easy access to relevant mobility and accessibility services is crucial for establishing new travel habits and practices. In Living Lab Riksten, we prototype future possibilities of such service systems. Challenges that co-researchers receive in the SAMSAS app spur them to try new and sustainable ways of travelling and thus let them explore the meaning of sustainable citizenship. The challenges are designed to gain participants’ different perspectives on citizens’ roles in transformation processes.

Over the upcoming months, researchers from Mistra SAMS will conduct several rounds of interviews with the co-researchers and analyse the potential that mobility and accessibility services have for altering the mobility practices of citizens and pushing towards a future with more sustainable and equitable travelling.

About Living Labs within the Mistra SAMS project

The lab in Riksten is the third within the Mistra SAMS research project. The two previously investigated partly how financial incentives affect everyday travel, partly how a professional work environment close to home, and new mobility services, work in reality.