Co-creating mobility in the neighbourhood: tips and tools

MUV aims to build capacity at the neighbourhood scale where citizens, local business owners and public authorities will become an active part of the change towards more sustainable values and behaviour with regard to mobility. The project facilitates public participation of citizens to make informed choices about their mobility options, to gain a sense of ownership on the quality of their neighbourhood environment, and to contribute to feedback on policy making. These are big promises in the project, but how do we achieve them? They do not emerge spontaneously.

The central methodology in MUV is co-creation. A method that implies “Building with, not for”. We involve citizens throughout the entire process: starting from identifying needs, values and habits, designing and prototyping potential solution for neighbourhood challenges and researching and co-designing technology that influences the mobility behaviour in the neighbourhood.

We, at Waag, are the coordinating partner in MUV when it comes to the community co-creation in the six pilot neighbourhoods. We have been sharing our vision on co-creation (or human-centred-design, design thinking or users as designers if you like) for quite a while. And are happy to share with you our guidelines.

Here are 10 crucial elements for a successful co-creation:

  1. The aim of co-creation is to create shared value – together with your stakeholders.
  2. It’s about people, not about users or customers. Think of participants as ‘active agents’ rather than ‘beneficiaries’.
  3. Co-creation is a strategic choice and has strategic consequences.
  4. Co-creation invites multiple perspectives. Everyone is an expert in their own right – by balancing professional and experiential expertise a level playing field is created.
  5. Co-creation is inclusive, or rather: should be non-exclusive. Think about the representation you aim for, don’t (only) go for the obvious.
  6. Co-creation is an open and constructive process, where (process and/or outcome) control is shared. In some cases the motto ‘community voices, curatorial choices’ is used, but if you are not comfortable sharing control: don’t do it.
  7. Have an open attitude, create a safe space, let people feel free to contribute in their own way. Be clear on what you expect from participants and how their efforts will be visible.
  8. It’s about collective creativity – in a creative process a different dialogue between people is started. It’s not about finding the right idea, it’s about finding a multitude of ideas.
  9. Co-creation thrives with shared ownership – in both results and process.
  10. Co-creation is open ended. Keep people involved after sessions have ended, give feedback on the choices you make afterwards.

 

 

To help you even more, we developed the co-creation navigator. This interactive platform shows the co-creation process. Within each phase of the process references to tools and best-practices are made, that can support you. Have a look and start using the co-creation navigator yourself. We are curious about your experiences and feedback.

To know more about MUV and co-creation, you can download the deliverable D3.3 on https://www.muv2020.eu/resources/

About the authors

Judith Veenkamp is concept developer at Waag (The Netherlands) where she is part of the Smart Citizen Lab and the Future Internet Lab. She loves to go on city trips and explore cities by bike.