MUV: urban innovation with a new vision and methodology


The MUV project is addressing a challenge: “How to generate substantial changes on urban mobility values, without planning hard infrastructures”. Do you know how?

What’s the urban innovation about

MUV research combines service design and urban planning methodologies. The aim is to activate citizens towards more responsible mobility lifestyles, shaping their urban environment. MUV will thus introduce incentives to foster more sustainable, inclusive, and safe urban mobility values.

MUV aims to be also a channel of communication between public administrators and local communities through the exchange of data, visions and future scenarios for the neighborhoods involved.

Our ambition is to create a radically new approach to urban innovation that will complement the technical and functional interventions, by focusing on a new participatory method for urban democratic governance in more citizens-oriented cities.

Urban contexts are divers, very divers!

MUV innovation focuses on the neighborhood scale.

The diversity between the urban contexts – one can imagine the differences between the neighborhood Centro Storico in Palermo and the new area of Jätkäsaari in Helsinki – is often reflected in the large heterogeneity of the participants to the co-creation sessions organized in the same neighbourhoods.

The differences are related to competencies, skills, knowledge, interests and even languages. Participatory sessions often are stages for diverse actors that bring their own frames of assumptions and practice.

The co-creation session in Muide-Meulestede, a neighborhood in Ghent – Belgium


From a given to a process

The MUV vision and methodology is a process, not a given. It works through assemblages for an integrated urban ecosystem that connects individuals to urban communities through technologies.

A diversity of places with a diverse sense of community and identity are connected to high-tech experts for data analysis, technological elements, game mechanics, blueprints and service design. Our work with MUV scenarios aims at orchestrating such a process; not getting lost in the many details on the diverse parts of a puzzle, but suggesting how these parts can work together and what kind of picture can result at the end.

From a figure to everyday life and vice versa

We are developing a methodology that consists of new participatory cycles of co-creation based on combining approaches to community building and design orienting scenarios. MUV co-creation consists of three diverse sessions resulting in an iterative process in which mobility, services and scalability are all progressively defined. (Figure 1)



The everyday life stories of urban experiences and practices of mobility and people’s imaginary of future are essential elements of this co-creation method. In the future, MUVers will practice a diverse relationship with their own city, shaping meeting places and playful experiences within their communities and social relationships which develop the sense of urbanity about.

What’s next for MUV?

Our MUV scenarios are a potential for critical factors that may influence future changes in policy making and urban policy. The sense of people’s life stories in different neighborhood communities is the basis for generating the requirements for a common technological platform. MUV scenarios will shape negotiation tools to find common grounds for a large-scale method that will support urban system-and-practice change.


Manzini, E., et al. (2009). Design Orienting Scenarios.

J. C. Diehl, M. Crul and C. Ryan. Nabatchi, T., and Leighninger, M. (2015) Public participation for 21st century democracy.

About the authors

Enza Lissandrello is an Associate Professor in Urban Planning and Management at Aalborg University (Denmark)

Nicola Morelli is a Professor MSO in Service Design at Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University (Denmark)

Aalborg University is a partner in the MUV project.


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