WP6 – Urban competitiveness lab

Medium to long-­‐term competitiveness of cities requires the integration of different scales of analysis while the trade-­‐offs across different urban dimensions are to be assessed. The main goal of WP6 is to create an urban competitiveness lab where specific outcomes towards urban sustainability take place with multiple stakeholders (Municipality, public agencies, private partners and academia), organized in an Advisory Committee and where new products and services emerging from this project to promote city competitiveness are assessed and tailored. This assessment may help promoters to improve their business models in a context of uncertainty including disaster/crisis and outage management. The Urban Competitiveness Lab is intended to transform the smart solutions developed within the testbed project in innovative business models and to devise optimal investment decisions that account for the uncertainty of the long term future needs of the urban fabric.

The strong interest demonstrated by industry partners in this project creates the  right framework for  the development of the innovative solutions foreseen and establishes the necessary relationships towards a translational research directed to the commercialization in international markets, which constitutes a guarantee of the future sustainability of the results produced, well beyond the time frame of its development.

This Work Package will consist of 3 tasks:

Task 1 (Testbed component)

Stakeholder platform – uncovering services and products

This task will focus on the creation of a multi-­‐stakeholder council and the organization of periodic workshops with all partners of the project to discuss results from all WPs, potential urban interventions and the potential economic valorization of the project outcomes through novel business models. This council will also promote the dissemination of the impact of science and technology in urban living, by organizing public sessions and global reach publications.

Task 2

Decision-making in face of uncertainty

The interesting and relevant part of decision-­‐making under uncertainty lies in the creation of opportunities to adapt a system easily to new opportunities – or to emerging risks. Technically, these are known as “options”, that is physical or procedural devices that enable the smooth transition to more desired situations. Economic theory demonstrates that such options are especially valuable when uncertainties are highest. As long-­‐term forecasts of urban issues are necessarily (and demonstrably) very unreliable and uncertain, the development of flexible options for urban interventions can be presumed to be highly desirable, and will be developed in this project.

Task 3 (Testbed component)

Integration with the PhDs Programs

To further the collaborative, team-­building effort, the project will strongly promote long-­‐term interaction with the PhD students engaged in the MIT Portugal program, particularly by providing them with case studies to be developed under the context of their innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The goal is to facilitate the creation of startups based on the specific developments and urban interventions derived from the project. MIT students will also participate in summer intersession periods, to further and deepen their understanding of the opportunities and issues involved in the project. This is facilitated as several senior members associated with the project have already undertaken long exchanges between MIT and Portugal, and are actively teaching in the PhD programs of Transportation Systems and Sustainable Energy Systems.

Building up from the research developed in other Work Packages and inputs from local agents such as the companies that operate in the area and the local Government, different scenarios and policies for the transformation of the neighborhood will be designed and assessed.

This Work Package will involve all the partners, which will collaborate to develop and present information for different stakeholders, demonstrating the benefits and costs of different urban interventions, while unveiling the relevant uncertainties and how this information can usefully support potential decisions.