In response to our recent article about trials in San Francisco, I was informed of a project in Barcelona called 22@Urban Labs. One of their projects, dealing with wirelessly-controlled city lighting, was recently featured on GOOD. 22@Barcelona is a particular district in the city that is rallying around the use of its places and people as an urban laboratory – a place in which to test innovative solutions to the challenges of many fields: urban planning, education, mobility, etc. It’s kind of like a start-up incubator for companies looking to innovate in city services. The Urban Lab project offers no promise of service adoption or funding, however if a pilot proves impressively successful, it’s hard to imagine the city ignoring it.
So far, the district has hosted nascent companies proposing solutions in sustainable streetlights, electric car charging stations, telematic gas, electric, and water meter readers, and bicycle lane design.