How to evaluate the impacts achieved by MUV

How can we evaluate MUV impact?

Urban areas are considered the ground for the challenges related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of shaping cities that will see a more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable future is often argued as an issue dependent on behavioural change of citizens. The MUV project question is: “Can experimental actions based on gamification co-produce more sustainable cities?’. We try to answer this question by quantifying the impacts achieved in 6 pilot cities: Ghent, Palermo, Amsterdam, Fundao, Helsinki and Barcelona.

The MUV impact evaluation is prospective since it has been developed at the same time as MUV action has been designed. The baseline data have been collected prior to its implementation. The impact evaluation follows the before-and-after comparison depicted in the following figure. This approach attempts to establish the impact by tracking changes in outcomes for participants involved over time.


MUV impact


The before situation has been described by means of the baseline data. Then we have measured the outcome for the MUV participants during the pilot time frame, and we have estimated the so-called counterfactual (i.e. what the outcome would have been in the six pilot cities in case MUV action has not been implemented) to isolate the MUV impacts from the observed changes. In fact, in the ex-post evaluation (i.e. at the end of the pilot activities) the MUV impacts have been evaluated by comparing outcomes with the counterfactual.

In order to concretely estimate impacts, we have selected about 40 impact indicators that are related to the MUV main objectives:

  1. Sustainable urban mobility: MUV promotes a shift towards more sustainable mobility in cities;
  2. Better health and environment: MUV raises citizens’ awareness on the quality of the urban environment and promotes healthier mobility choices, leading to a better environment;
  3. People-centred mobility planning: MUV promotes the integration of people and personal mobility data into mobility policymaking and planning processes;
  4. Foster local development: MUV generates positive spillover effects on the cities stimulating an innovative environment;

and provide insights on the following impact areas:

  1. Society-People: refers to the effects of MUV on the citizens such as acceptability, mobility habits, perceived wellbeing, and new opportunities;
  2. Society-Governance: refers to the effects of MUV on the way the society organizes itself in terms of governance;
  3. Economy: focuses on the benefits derived from MUV in relation to the costs associated with its preparation, implementation, and operation, together with the economic spillover effects;
  4. Environment: relates to the effects of reducing the use of private car on the environment, thanks to MUV, covering both polluting emissions and energy consumption.

Are you interested in the impacts achieved by MUV in the 6 pilot cities so far? Don’t miss the project deliverable D7.6 on MUV impacts. It is coming soon, and it will be available at


About the author:

Brunella Caroleo and Andrea Vesco work at the LINKS Foundation. Brunella is a Senior Researcher and she is leading MUV Impact Assessment activities; Andrea is Head of Research Area and he is the coordinator of the related WP7.