Living Lab: a new approach to finding solutions

Posted on 31/10/2014 by


Among the delegates at last night’s Inverleith Community Conference was a group of Edinburgh University students – yes, those enthusiastic young guys in the bright red tops!

DSCF2192The students are working with Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership on a project to look at more innovative ways to encourage walking and cycling – and they want to hear from you! Let them explain:

Edinburgh Living Lab is a new partnership involving the City of Edinburgh Council and students and staff from the University of Edinburgh.

The goal of the Living Lab is to encourage innovation in the development of services, processes and products in the city. What makes the Living Lab different is not so much it’s aims as it’s methods.

Developing new solutions should always involve users from the start, and as far as possible should take place in real world contexts: on the street, in parks, cafes, community centres, homes and offices rather than in contrived laboratory settings.

As well as designing in collaboration with users there is an emphasis on rapidly implementing project ideas, testing and measuring their effectiveness, refining them or throwing them away as required.

We are currently involbed in a ten week pilot project with Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership, where teams of Masters students from the University’s Design Informatics degree are experimenting with novel ideas for increasing the uptake of active travel in Inverleith. Data plays a central role in their projects: some of this will be existing data sets such as those produced by the Council, but some will be freshly collected during the course of the projects, using surveys, observation and digital techniques.

Edinburgh Living Lab is currently at an experimental stage and we welcome contributions from participants at the conference and of course from the residents of Inverleith.

Interested? To find out more visit


Do you want to help improve cycling in Inverleith? Want to take part in a short study where you will get to wear Google Glass and a high tech EEH headset?

Intrigued? Contact Kim Taylor on 0754 161 0222 or email for more information!

To sign up for the study go to: