CityOpt: Engaging citizens to facilitate energy demand responses

CityOpt: Engaging citizens to facilitate energy demand responses European Commission FP7 Share CityOpt, a research project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework, is getting citizens involved in testing new tools to reduce energy consumption during peak loads, with the goal that this pilot program will set a new trend in protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. 3 things to know Encouraging behavioral change  The CityOpt app helps people reduce domestic energy consumption during energy peak loads and nudges them towards more eco-friendly behaviors. Incentivizing energy reduction  Their savings were rewarded with points, which participants could “donate” to a local community project of their choice, helping to maintain people’s engagement with the app. Real time monitoring An office block in Vienna, Austria, uses the CITYOPT app to identify the best scenario to integrate energy supply sources with fluctuating temperatures into an efficient micro-energy network.. Gallery In depth Service mix: Policy development Envisioning Business strategy design Prototyping Information architecture Participatory design Service design User experience testing Context One of France’s most fragile regions, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, is perhaps best known for its vineyards, lavender groves and sparkling coastal cities like Nice. It is however also one of France’s most fragile regions for electricity supply. Particularly in winter, when electrical heating sees electricity use rise, the locals experience frequent blackouts, as the local energy provider, EDF, tries to manage the supply. This is why Nice Côte d’Azur has been selected as a pilot city for the CITYOPT project, an initiative that aims to create new methods and tools to deal with energy consumption, and to involve local citizens in designing and testing them. CITYOPT is a pilot programme funded by the European Commission that explores and tests new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads. Research Experientia has led the user research activities for the pilot program. User experience methodologies have engaged local citizens from the area in interviews, workshops and design activities. These have defined what people really need to help them control their energy use, and to create a mobile app that the pilot participants will be able to use to do just that. The entire project has applied a user experience (UX) methodology, to make sure that the tools and methods that the project proposes for energy management resonate with the people who will have to use them. It’s not just Nice Côte d’Azur: other pilots are planned for Helsinki, Finland and Vienna, Austria, where similar UX methods are also being applied. Right now, the Nice pilot looks at the residential level, and explores how people’s everyday behaviors can be nudged to better support the energy use of the entire region. Model Changing individual behaviors to help the entire region The Nice Côte d’Azur local population plays a crucial role in reducing domestic electricity consumption during peak loads. To help people change the way they consume electricity, the pilot provides selected locals with the CITYOPT mobile app (aka the CITYOPT Operational tool). The app informs people about upcoming network peak loads, and then uses playful persuasion to get them to commit to lowering their energy consumption at a specific time. How the app was created – a participatory process The Experientia design team also focused on the visual design of the mobile application. In workshops for design idea creation, designers and local stakeholders came together to brainstorm innovative ideas that could potentially be included in the app. A second participatory workshop, again involving local stakeholders, compared these ideas to the expectations and needs of local people, which had been uncovered in the original interviews and workshops with people from the region. The feasibility of the different ideas was discussed, and the final features for the CITYOPT app were selected. Designing, sketching and coding is a long road from ideas to app. First Experientia’s design team, with the support of the local project partners, worked on three wireframes of the app, which defined the information architecture and interaction model for how the app would work. Later on, colors and styles were added, taking it from outline to a fully-fledged design. Experientia then developed the front-end, web-based code, while the consortium partners – CSTB and EDF – implemented the back-end, repositories, hardware interfaces and statistical algorithms. Nice Côte d’Azur Métropole was responsible for localizing the application in French and recruiting local dwellers to participate in the pilot test. Impact The project was piloted with 200 households in Nice using the CITYOPT app during the first wave of testing. During the demonstration test, leader Experientia explored how people use the app, whether they take part in the demand-response scenarios, and what conditions and driving factors are most likely to convince people to participate. The test research was supported by quantitative and qualitative activities like online surveys, contextual interviews and contextual observations. The actual consumption data was also measured through pre-installed smart-meters, and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the CITYOPT system. The CITYOPT project has provided us with real data on effective ways to convince people to reduce their energy use at a level that can help improve the consumption of an entire region. It’s now a matter of scaling up the project to the entire region, and beyond, and providing a body of information that can be used by any region looking for effective ways to reduce energy use. Meanwhile, the other CITYOPT pilot programmes will demonstrate that Nice is not a solitary example, and that user experience methodology can offer real impact on people’s behaviors, and on behavioral change for more sustainable lifestyles. Related projects All Services Behavioral design Research and assessment Strategy Cities & InfrastructureSocial innovation ToNite: social innovation and urban regeneration in Turin, Italy Cities & InfrastructureSocial innovation Low2No: shaping the future of sustainable living Go back to our portfolio

Singapore: a city for people aging gracefully

Singapore: a city for people aging gracefully

Singapore: a city for people aging gracefully DesignSingapore Council Share DesignSingapore Council asked Experientia to explore health and wellness for the elderly in the Singaporean public sector. We conducted ethnographic research and participatory design workshops, as part of a drive to develop design-led innovation for the health industry. 3 things to know Design ethnography and service design Experientia explored current healthcare experiences of the aging population in Singapore through design ethnography identify opportunities for design-driven innovation in public healthcare. We identified opportunity areas for design-driven innovation in the Singaporean public healthcare space to help Singapore create the right conditions to support a rapidly aging society. Interactive map of findings The interactive map allows people to browse the personas alongside field research videos, that communicate the research findings in the participants’ own words. Long lasting impact The findings have been incorporated in the Health Ministry’s ongoing Action Plan For Successful Ageing, and guided the development of a new residential impact. Gallery Singapore is proactively addressing the problems of a rapidly aging society We explored what is like to grow older in Singapore today, carrying out contextual interviews and shadowing with elderly people, their carers, and people with the healthcare industry. In participatory design workshops with Singaporean stakeholders, we introduced experience design guidelines and created concepts and strategies to improve the elderly healthcare system in Singapore. Our 8 personas show different experiences of aging and using the healthcare system in Singapore. Our customer journeys maps show the typical issues the participants experiences as they tried to manage their health. In depth Service mix: Design thinking Policy development Envisioning Participatory design Service design Behavioral modeling Ethnography Useful links: Download the pdf English language Website External link Singapore press External link Press release External link Press article External link Press article External link Context By 2030, Singapore will experience a profound shift in its age demographics with the elderly population increasing by three times. This calls for a radical change in perspective on how care can be better delivered to the elderly. Challenge To prepare and plan for that change, The DesignSingapore Council’s Asian Insights and Design Innovation (AIDI) programme embarked on a Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly project to look into developing design solutions that better meet the needs of the elderly in Singapore, and asked Experientia to carry out an extensive research and analysis project , including a workshop with participating public agencies and services from the Singapore healthcare system. Research The project started with an understanding of global trends in elderly healthcare services. This was then followed by a design ethnography study through interviews and shadowing – to gather deep qualitative insights into the habits and behaviours of the elderly and to identify trends, behaviors and gaps in the interaction between elderly people and the healthcare system. From the observations, we learned about how the elderly think, act and feel towards managing their health at home and their needs and wants. Experientia developed 8 personas to begin the process of designing for behavioural change and explore solutions like ageing-in-place, peer-to-peer support and community platforms to solve some of the elderly healthcare issues. Participatory workshops allowed stakeholders from the public to be part of this process generating 12 main user-centred design concepts. In two multi-day innovation workshops with healthcare and public service stakeholders, representatives from the healthcare industry and public sector joined Experientia and DesignSingapore Council in Singapore. Here we introduced the challenges the participants face on a daily basis, showing video clips from the research to reveal the human faces behind the research. The stakeholders developed service concepts that would suit the unique characteristics of Singapore. Design Experientia team designed an interactive map of findings, a rich database resource that invites stakeholders to explore and be inspired to innovate and design relevant solutions for the ageing population. The concepts were useful to guide Singaporean healthcare agencies to create strategies, policies and services. The results of the project were compiled in a handy publication for further use in Singapore and freely available for anyone. As part of the project, Experientia also worked with Singaporean agencies and ministries to devise community-focused concepts for elderly residents in the Kampung Admiralty residential block. 
Co-creation workshops prototyped key policy decisions on ageing, health and housing. Impact Experientia’s report recommendations were widely reported in the Singapore press and were integrated in the Government’s $3billion Action Plan for Successful Ageing (website – pdf – press release – press article). The Kampung Admiralty residential block has been completed. It incorporated many of the concept ideas that were co-created in the Experientia-lead workshops. Download the pdf English language Website External link Singapore press External link Press release External link Press article External link Press article External link Related projects All Services Behavioral design Research and assessment Strategy Cities & InfrastructureSocial innovation ToNite: social innovation and urban regeneration in Turin, Italy Health GoCare: Interactive dashboard for a better home hospitalization service Health Rare disease patient journey mapping Go back to our portfolio

ToNite: social innovation and urban regeneration in Turin, Italy


ToNite: social innovation and urban regeneration in Turin, Italy EU’s Urban Innovative Action Program Share ToNite is an urban renewal project which aims to develop multidisciplinary solutions to manage public spaces and improve residents’ perception of security at night-time along the Dora River of Turin, Italy. 3 things to know Design ethnography and service design Experientia explored the current culture of security – with a focus on night-time – in two different areas along the Dora River through the involvement of key stakeholders, local communities and citizens. The ethnographic research consisted of in-depth interviews, explorative urban walks and an online questionnaire. Co-design with communities During different phases of the project, citizens were given the opportunity to co-define solutions to improve social cohesion and the perception of night-time security and liveability of public spaces. Develop a human-centered approach to data modeling Evidence from research on the culture and perception of security was used to inform the design of the technology infrastructure that supported the City of Turin on related topics and defined a call for innovative local social impact projects. Gallery Video In depth Service mix: Design thinking Policy development Participatory design Service design Ethnography Useful links: Download the report Italian language Link to ToNite website About the project Context Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a Program of the European Union that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges. Although research on urban issues is well developed, potential solutions are not always put into practice because urban authorities are reluctant to use their money to test new, unproven, and hence risky ideas. Urban Innovative Actions offers urban authorities the possibility to take a risk and experiment with the most innovative and creative solutions. The main objective of UIA is to provide urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test innovative solutions to the main urban challenges, and see how these work in practice and respond to the complexity of real life. ToNite was a 3-year project. It ran in the 2019-2023 timeframe. Challenge The City of Turin, together with a range of partners including Experientia, participated in the 2019 call and won a €4.6 million grant with a project called ToNite. ToNite sought to create urban regeneration and to address urban blight and decline in selected areas along the Dora River through collaborative policies based on social empowerment, active participation of residents and stakeholders, and social and technological innovation. The main project partner was the Municipality of Turin. Other partners were: Fondazione Piemonte Innova, SocialFare, Engineering, the European Forum for Urban Security, Espereal Technologies and ANCI (the National Italian Association of Municipalities). Research Experientia was particularly engaged in activating communities in exploration activities, defining areas of opportunities and requirements to facilitate civic empowerment and technology-based social sensing. This allowed the City of Turin to implement multidisciplinary and co-designed solutions to improve the livability of public spaces and the perceived security of our communities. Experientia conducted ethnographic and social enquiry activities in target neighborhoods, engaged key stakeholders to understand the current culture of security (with specific focus on the night-time experience), and defined 33 new opportunities for the City.  More than 500 residents were involved in the project exploration phase. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted, including 36 in-depth interviews, 5 exploratory urban walks, and an online questionnaire.  Research outputs were strategic in informing subsequent project phases. Both Opportunity Mapping and Persona Modelling were used to guide co-design processes for innovative and impact-oriented services for the target area. Design We supported project partners in working with communities to co-design opportunities for urban regeneration and services to improve social cohesion and the perception of security and liveability of public spaces at night-time.  The results led the City of Turin in defining a call for innovative social impact projects. 19 impact-oriented and sustainable projects were funded and supported by dedicated acceleration programmes. Insights from our qualitative inquiry with citizens and city representatives also helped the team in developing an improved and integrated technology infrastructure to understand and analyze urban insecurity phenomena and to provide overall intelligence. Within the acceleration programme conducted by different partners, Experientia supported the projects in developing their service model with dedicated sessions and service design tools, delivering 19 Service Blueprints. The analysis of the overall ecosystem led to the co-definition of strategic guidelines for the City of Turin regarding the areas of intervention and priorities to develop and maintain a service ecosystem. Impact ToNite contributed to the physical regeneration of the Dora River, providing new urban furniture and regenerating unused spaces located in the area. The project intervened in two different areas along the Dora River with the aim was to understand and improve residents’ perception of night-time security and livability. The collaborative bottom-up process applied highlighted interventions, actions and services and models for residents and innovators. Download the report Italian language Link to ToNite website About the project Related projects All Services Behavioral design Research and assessment Strategy Social innovation Turin Public Libraries, redesigning the cultural experience Social innovation COE, Strengthening access to justice through non-judicial redress mechanisms HealthSocial innovation Singapore: a city for people aging gracefully Go back to our portfolio