Living Lab: why does Kiev have a "smart" quarter


In the autumn of 2016 it became known that the first "smart" quarter – Living Lab will appear in Kyiv on Melnikov Street. Its construction should end by the autumn of 2017. Recently there is more and more information about what will be there and how to eventually transform the street and the nearby square. We decided to figure out what the first Kiev smart quarter will be able to do, who creates it, why and how it will help the entire city become smarter and more comfortable.

What is Living Lab

Ideas of a "smart" city are no longer one ten years. But not every technology that is born in the mind of a developer or a city dweller can ultimately benefit the maximum number of inhabitants of the city. To be convinced of its expediency, the novelty must first be tested in real conditions. But innovation throughout the city – it's long and expensive. And if then it turns out that it is still useless, then in the end, citizens' confidence in authorities and technologies can be seriously undermined, and a lot of money wasted.

In order to avoid unjustified spending on new technologies in cities that are responsive to issues Urbanistics, are tested in small areas. Separate streets or blocks. And if it turns out that innovation is really useful, it is from these quarters that they spread to the city. Such places are called Living Labs – that is, "living" laboratories. The laboratory concept originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 2000s. It covers not only the "urban" sphere, but also agriculture, medicine, art, etc.

"There are special research laboratories that determine the existing needs of the city and identify potential. These potential needs in the testing phase need to be placed in context. Since Smart City solutions are very expensive, pilot projects are first done, then – animation, then an investment competition and implementation on a larger scale. In China, they move according to this logic: first, the solution extends to one street, then a quarter, district, city. This is the stage of the project's animation. Not all Smart City solutions work well in every city, "says Victoria Podgornaya, coordinator of the Smart City laboratory and managing partner in the NGO" Public Council of Smart City ".

That is, once again, the Smart City Living Lab is physically A place in the city where technologies and solutions can be seen, touched and appreciated. And only that has proved itself well here, in the future will extend to the whole city or even the country. On the "pilot" spaces, on the one hand, one can understand how people perceive this or that decision, on the other – to teach them how to use it. In Kiev, the question of familiarity with technology is still acute. Kievans have just begun to massively "move" to smart phones and enjoy the charms of contactless payment in the subway or cable car. To the average technology, the average Kyivan must still get used to.

Also in the Living Lab, start-up "urban" projects can be prototyped. The real need of residents is revealed, after testing the product is finalized and released as a big decision.

According to the concept of "live" laboratories, residents and experts take part in the assessment. Each innovation should have a minimum of 300 people who tested it. Experts calculate the potential audience of the novelty, whether it is economically justified, whether the rights or comfort of certain groups of users, including, for example, older people who are not accustomed to technology, violates the law.

Ideally in Living Lab four groups of users interact – citizens, experts, city authorities and business. The first, if desired, after completing the training may become the second. City authorities are responsible for the implementation of ideas on a city scale. And business acts as a source of technology. Develops solutions for the urban environment and provides them for testing. Gathers feedback from users and improves the product. This is ideal.

The structure of the Kiev Smart City Lab (available on the project website), with which the laboratory is connected, looks like this:

According to Victoria Podgornaya, the Kiev Living Lab abolished the expert part, connected with the research laboratories and methodologies for evaluating solutions for Smart City, which are already developed for Living Lab, a similar project, but corresponding to the standards of the world network, will be launched in another city in Ukraine. In addition, the Melnikov project is primarily an urban solution that demonstrates how public space should be arranged so that it is comfortable for a person. Urbanistics is certainly an important element, but it is not key to Smart City, it completes the picture. While the classical "living" laboratories of the "smart" city more encompass the technological aspects.

What will be the Kiev Living Lab

The "smart" space of Kiev will perform three functions: demonstrate "smart" technologies in action and accustom people to use them, serve as a test pad for the city and even the country, and also collect data on the urban environment through various sensors (environmental conditions, traffic, lighting, etc.). And the big data (this is the case with them) is another key to making the city more comfortable.

The Kiev "living laboratory", also Melnykova Smart Street, will be located between Lukyanovskaya square and the intersection with the street Derevlyanskaya, including it will enter the park. Kotlyarevsky.

The development of the project involved the architectural bureau Culmann Workshop and the design studio Sugudesu. About Living Lab on Melnikova, called Melnykova Smart Street, we already know a lot – the authors of the project immediately shared a vision of how the space will be organized, and eventually it was finalized. In the second version, there is more pedestrian space and less space for cars.

And although in its present form Melnykova Living Lab is more an urban project than a technological one, it has one key feature that was not previously available seen for Ukrainian cities is the desire to involve city dwellers in the discussion and readiness to take it into account. For example, residents can vote for what the square will be like.

Of the technologies related to the Living Lab, there will be solar panels, a Bluetooth beacon system, smart traffic lights, environmental sensors, a placard with a timetable for urban traffic, Wi-Fi, alarm buttons on stops, adaptive lighting, stations for charging electric cars and recharging gadgets. Pavilions on the territory of the "laboratory" will be built in such a way that they save heat, and rainwater harvesting systems will allow it to be used for irrigation.

From the urban charms Living Lab – a dedicated lane for public transport, improved street zoning, an expanded and barrier-free space for pedestrians, tactile tiles, areas for children and animal walking, school modular space and recreation areas.

Despite the fact that all these things look sensible, and it is already obvious that Kiev needs them , testing in the field will identify weaknesses and the relevance of certain things. You can dream of any city that, for example, you need free Wi-Fi or something technological – any innovation should be economically feasible.

Kyiv traffic lights will be connected to an automated traffic control system and will be monitored remotely. Over time, this area will have CCTV cameras that will count the flow of machines. In theory, it is not only a tool for more flexible regulation of transport in the city, but also a source of statistics – a "golden key" from many urban problems.

Whoever orders music

Living Lab in its present form is not the end point, but on the contrary – the basis on which, according to the concept, ideas of local developers, business and not indifferent townspeople will be grounded. The project site says that the team is still in a state of negotiations with vendors and developers who can submit their projects to the Living Lab.

The project is coordinated by the Kyiv Smart City organization, it should be addressed to those who have ideas for the city. On behalf of the authorities, he is represented by the head of the Shevchenko district administration, Oleg Garyaga. And if you believe the information on the official site, a large number of people, even the mayor of the city, are involved in the project from among the city authorities. Let's hope that as a result, the project will not slide into another city PR or become a living illustration to the fable "Swan, Cancer and Pike."

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