Improving cities’ sustainability is a game: MUV project has just started

MUV stands for “Mobility Urban Values” and it is a Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Commission under the call Horizon2020 Mobility for Growth managed by the Executive Agency INEA. The project is part of CIVITAS, the initiative to promote sustainable and innovative transport in European cities.

For the next three years, a consortium of 14 partners from 8 different European countries will conduct a research aimed at improving urban mobility through an innovative approach: changing commuting habits through a game that mixes digital and physical experiences.
The MUV system will result from the combination of behavioural change techniques, new technologies, data science and co-design approaches. The solution will include a mobile app tracking users’ daily routes and assigning points for sustainable behaviours and a network of sensing stations designed by the makers’ community.

Urban commuters, from a set of six diverse urban neighbourhoods spread across Europe, will co-create and then test different game dynamics and their achievements will be rewarded by a network of local businesses that will benefit from the advertising provided by the MUV platform.

Mobility and environmental data gathered via the mobile app and the monitoring stations, all released as Open Data, will allow policymakers to enhance planning processes and civic hackers to build new services able to improve cities’ quality of life in a more effective way.

Rather than focus on costly and rapidly ageing urban infrastructures, MUV promotes a shift towards more sustainable and healthy mobility choices by engaging in a positive way local communities, local businesses, policymakers and Open Data enthusiasts.

The MUV solution will be thus open, co-created with a strong learning community of users and stakeholders and piloted in six different European neighbourhoods: Buitenveldert in Amsterdam, Sant Andreu in Barcelona, the historic district of the Portuguese county of Fundao, Muide-Meulestede in the harbour of Ghent, the new area of Jätkäsaari in Helsinki and the area of Centro Storico in Palermo.

MUV builds on the experience of trafficO2, an Italian research-action project co-funded in 2012 by a grant from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and carried out by PUSH – MUV’s Project Coordinator – in the city of Palermo in the last three years. The trafficO2 experimentation, involving 2.000 students of the University of Palermo and a network of 100 local businesses, showed a reduction of the carbon emissions associated to the active users of more than 40%.

Thanks to the encouraging results of trafficO2, MUV was already selected to be part of the Hyper Island and Google startup acceleration programme “30 Weeks” (January 2016) and was presented by PUSH during the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito (October 2016).

«Seeing MUV develop over the course of 30 Weeks and launch with such success was incredibly gratifying for our team. Finally, we’re seeing organisations like PUSH understand that real impact comes from taking a human-centered design approach to product development. When you create a product, physical or digital, that actually changes negative habitual behaviour, that’s something to truly celebrate.» – declared Shana Dressler, Former Executive Director of Google’s 30 Weeks and Co-Founder of the NYC Innovation Collective.

«MUV being funding by the European Commission is great news for one of the many projects that were launched in Habitat III to implement the New Urban Agenda. The Palermo experience carried out by PUSH is now going to be applied in other five European cities, as an opportunity for city to city cooperation and research. It is a perfect example of how creativity and innovation can help us on improving the day to day challenges in our cities, in this case on urban commuting. We will definitely support the initiative as a huge step on shaping better cities and sustainable urbanization.» – declared Ana Moreno, United Nations Habitat III Secretariat Coordinator.

Together with PUSH, the project team includes the six cities where the pilots will be held (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Fundao, Ghent, Helsinki and Palermo) and several innovative organizations and research centres: BAG Innovation (Portugal), Forum Virium Helsinki (Finland), I2CAT (Spain), Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (Italy), LUCA School of Arts (Belgium), Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (Luxembourg), University of Aalborg (Denmark) and Waag Society (Netherlands).

The MUV co-creation activities within the six neighbourhoods will start in November 2017. Moreover, an Open Call for Municipalities, to spread the solution in more European cities, will be launched soon.
For more information please contact the Consortium at