L.I.V.E. – A Living Lab created by 3 cities to Co-Create Digital Urban Services with Citizens
L.I.V.E. is the acronym for “Lab pour Imaginer la Ville Ensemble” (Lab to Imagine the City Together). The Living Lab approach is a methodology to co-design “user-friendly digital (public) services” with inhabitants and to imagine the “Smart and inclusive City”. L.I.V.E. was a political initiative of the mayors of 3 medium-sized cities in the Lille Metropolitan Area (North of France), composed of 95 municipalities with independent administrations, except some common services supported by the Lille European Metropole (MEL) administration. From a geopolitical point of view, L.I.V.E. was an innovative project that encouraged public officials of three municipalities to share their practices and to create digital urban services for and with citizens. Doing so, L.I.V.E. was a political innovation because municipalities are not used to share experiences with other municipalities. It was also a social innovation because the social profile of citizens in the three cities is very different: Marcq-en-Baroeul (a upper-class city with business and financial services) “against” – politically speaking – two declining industrial cities, Tourcoing and Roubaix (a working-class city with a high proportion of foreign-born population and high unemployment rate). So a Living Lab approach was chosen to go beyond the traditional political, administrative and social divide between the three contiguous cities. The project was launched and tested in 2017 then operationalized in 2018-2019, supported by the MEL within the framework of ERDF funds. But in the end of 2019, L.I.V.E was still a «work in progress».