Newsletter April 2022


The Network of Laboratories for Civic Technology Co-production (NLAB4CIT) is a European network, coordinated by the University of Turin (UNITO), consisting of three local authorities, three knowledge institutions, and the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG). The project has the ambition to make public services more accessible.


The network will work on the question of how, through digital technologies, we can bring citizens closer to public services and involve them more in their creation. Technologies that could be considered include blockchain, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and virtual reality. By experimenting and sharing good practices, the network plans to gain practical insights and tips.



From November 2021 until April 2023.

What have we been doing?

  • Mapping pilot projects in Kaisariani, using OLA’s canvas. For example, forest protection with volunteering firefighters is currently being developed as a pilot project.
  • Preliminary talks with several stakeholders in Kaisariani.
  • Kaisariani offered a place with significant historical value to set up the lab for the project. It is a room inside the museum of the national resistance of WWII!
  • Preparation of an internal co-design workshop in Roeselare, with policy officers of youth and participation.
  • In partnership with the other knowledge institutions, HOWEST created a platform using NextCloud to exchange innovative technological tools.
  • With the help from UNITO, the city of Collegno invited young opinion leaders between the ages of 14 and 29 to an open moment aimed at developing new community actions for the city. For UNITO, this was an opportunity to present FirstLife and Commonshood to the young citizens attending the event. The idea was to give them the opportunity to design new projects for their city also using digital civic technologies

Firstlife is a local social network based on a newsfeed paired with an interactive map. Citizens can publicly post news, activities, places, events and create groups with the coordination tools such as questionnaires and chats. The aim is to foster cooperation by connecting people that live or work in the same place to regenerate it.

CommonsHood is a wallet app based on blockchain. It promotes an Internet of Values 2.0 approach that allows citizens to create their own types of tokens to support the local economy: discount coupons, purpose-driven tokens (es. to reward volunteers), time banks, digital collectibles, group buying and complementary currencies.

What’s next?

  • Mapping pilot projects in the cities of Collegno and Roeselare.
  • Look for stakeholders that will make up the labs in Kaisariani. Meeting with OLA and the deputy mayor of Kaisariani, who is responsible for the mountain of Imittos, to discuss in detail the workshops and the stakeholders that will make up the labs.
  • In May, UNITO will visit the Belgian partners to discuss their technologies and pilot projects. VVSG provides the communication.

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