Architecting and Designing Sustainable Smart City Services in a Living Lab Environment
1.1. Motivation and Objective
1.2. Research Questions
- How can environmental information be integrated into smart city services in a meaningful way by following the living lab methodology?
- What is the experience of users in terms of viewing the environmental data in the case of the service presented in this research?
1.3. Structure of the Paper
2. Related Work
2.1. Smart City Services
- Smart City Governance: In the case of smart governance, citizens are active participators in decision-making and the government is transparent in its actions. Citizens have better knowledge of the functionalities in the city due to technology, which results in a well-connected governance system.
- Smart Living: Citizens are offered a healthy and safe living environment, as well as personal medical assistance, efficient health care plans, and remote medical services, to ensure their personal safety.
- Smart Mobility: Mobility services are combined with technology to provide actual information on the availability of transportation and decreases redundant rotation of public transport by following citizen usage patterns.
- Smart Environment: By monitoring environmental change, smart services can provide real-time information on pollution growing in the cities. Governments and citizens can be made aware of the adverse effect, to change their behavior toward utility services such as electricity, water, and gas.
2.2. Living Lab Methodology
2.3. Sustainability and Smart Cities
3. Engaging Citizens in Designing Smart City Services
3.1. Cycle 1
3.1.1. Check Opportunities
3.1.2. Concept Design
3.1.3. Concept Evaluation
- Knowledge of carbon footprint;
- Apps or services used to calculate or monitor carbon footprint;
- Views on application usage.
3.2. Cycle 2
3.2.1. Check Possibilities
- Directions from one place to another;
- Directions for different modes of transport;
- Time and distance for each mode of transport;
- Weather conditions in start and end places;
- Public transportation information;
- Saving a trip for future.
3.2.2. Prototype Design
3.2.3. Evaluate Usability
- Does the action match the user’s goal at that point?
- Will the user see the action is available?
- Will the user recognize the action is the one they need?
- Will the user understand the feedback they receive?
- Search for direction between two places;
- Read the directions;
- Change the mode between different transport choices;
- Check the amount of carbon footprint for your transport;
- Save your journey after login.
3.3. Cycle 3
3.3.1. Appreciate Opportunities
3.3.2. Application Development
- The air quality (aqicn.org/api/) API provides results according to the request sent from the users. It provides information on pollutants such as PM2.5, PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and ozone. It can also provide air quality of a specific area if the correct latitude/longitude is given. The API provides air quality forecast for 3–8 days, along with world ranking and trends. A widget function is also provided where the condition of an area is shown with color codes and a value that notifies users with a health hazard if the air quality is in a certain range.
- The weather API used was yr.no. It provides a weather forecast and a pollen forecast, and data on snow depths and forest fires in a given area. The idea to include a weather forecast in the transport application was to inform users on the road conditions, so they could choose their mode wisely. For example, they may choose to cycle to a place rather than drive if the weather is sunny.
- The calculation of carbon footprint was done using two methods. In one method, average values of carbon emission factor were used, so that users who are not aware of their average mileage can easily get an average value of their carbon footprint. The average CO2 emission factor for passenger cars in Finland in 118 g/km. The calculation of total emission, which is considered equivalent to the carbon footprint, is done using the following equation:Carbon Footprint = Carbon emission factor × Distance covered by the vehicle.
3.3.3. Evaluate User Experience with Green Commute App
- Visibility of application status: The status of the application should always be visible to the users. It should provide appropriate replies within understandable time to keep them interested.
- Correlation with the real world: The application should not visualize such content that cannot be correlated by the user with real-world context. It should produce results in common language with words, phrases, and ideas understandable to the user group, in a logical and natural order.
- Access control and openness of users: It is common that users will make mistakes during their functions and will require a plainly stamped “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without roaming around the site unnecessarily. The application should support undo and redo.
- Consistency and standards: It should not be the case that users have to investigate the meanings of the results and situations in different forms and actions that may have a similar meaning.
- Error prevention: An application is much better when it acknowledges the problems and provides understandable error messages to the users. There should be confirmation messages before important actions being set in the system.
- Acknowledgment instead of review: Limit the client’s memory stack by making items, activities, and alternatives unmistakable. Directions for utilization of the framework ought to be unmistakably or effortlessly retrievable at whatever point suitable.
- Adaptability and effectiveness of utilization: Accelerators—concealed by novice users—may regularly accelerate communication for regular users with the end goal that the framework can take into account both unpracticed and experienced users. Enable clients to tailor visit activities.
- Stylish and moderate plan: The comments and information should not contain irrelevant data. Irrelevant data mixed with actual information reduces the visibility of the results produced by the application, thus decreasing user appeal.
- Support to identify, diagnose, and recover from errors: Messages to the users during an action or in the case of an error must be explained in simple language, directly indicating the problem with a possible solution.
- Help and documentation: In most cases a good application would be one that does not require documentation. However, it is necessary to provide an explanation of the system to help users get across the application and receive the best results by following appropriate steps.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. RQ1—How to Integrate Sustainability into Smart City Services by Following the Living Lab Methodology?
4.2. RQ2—What Is the Experience of the Users in Terms of Viewing Environmental Data in the Case of the Service Presented in This Research?
4.3. Impact of the Green Commute Application and Sustainability
- Firstly, referring to an earlier chapter, people living in the city are considered as the main users of smart city services. Therefore, users should be involved in the development process in an active manner.
- Secondly, prototyping from the very early stage is necessary when dealing with novice users. It is easy for them to understand the target and provide valuable feedback for the future product.
- Thirdly, evaluation from users at each step or each rotation helps acquire knowledge of the service, such as good features, bad designs, what is needed, and what is not.
Conflicts of Interest
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|1.||Air Quality||Real time air quality of a city, by providing values of CO2, N2O, SO2, and O3||Worldwide|
|2.||Lake & Sea Wiki||Finnish lake and sea monitoring||Finland|
|3.||Helsinki Region Infoshare||Air quality, noise pollution, GHG emissions||Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa in Finland|
|4.||Open Weather Map||Rain, heat forecast||Worldwide|
|5.||yr||UV, pollen and snow forecast, forest fire.||Worldwide|
|6.||Keli Forcea||Snow conditions on highways||Finland|
|7.||European Environment Agency||CO2 emissions, losses due to climate change, air pollutants from transport||Europe|
|1.||HSL||Provides transportation information, ticketing service in Helsinki||Helsinki Region, Finland|
|2.||SL||Provides transportation information, ticketing service in Stockholm||Stockholm, Sweden|
|3.||Brighter Planet||Carbon and energy impact quantification in the cloud||Open|
|4.||Carbon Benchmark Api||The administration gives assessments of normal generation of CO2 and GHGs as a pointer of run-of-the-mill carbon impressions for different exercises.||Open|
|5.||ParkRight App||Service to find free parking spaces||London, UK|
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Alam, M.T.; Porras, J. Architecting and Designing Sustainable Smart City Services in a Living Lab Environment. Technologies 2018, 6, 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6040099
Alam MT, Porras J. Architecting and Designing Sustainable Smart City Services in a Living Lab Environment. Technologies. 2018; 6(4):99. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6040099Chicago/Turabian Style
Alam, Md Tawseef, and Jari Porras. 2018. "Architecting and Designing Sustainable Smart City Services in a Living Lab Environment" Technologies 6, no. 4: 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6040099