May 2, 2023

The European project oPEN Lab aims to launch a collective process that facilitates the transformation of Rochapea into a Positive Energy Neighbourhood over time. This means creating an environment that achieves energy self-sufficiency and even produces a surplus that can be sold to neighbouring neighbourhoods, generating significant savings and possible benefits for the neighbourhood that can be reinvested in it. It also helps reduce polluting emissions and strengthens the local community.

Through this project, one of the challenges is to establish an oPEN Living Lab. An autonomous space for exchanging diverse knowledge, where different agents jointly define the model of the neighbourhood they want to pursue and propose solutions that are appropriate to their context, experimenting and testing innovative solutions designed to improve the daily lives of the population.

Among the plurality of agents that should be actively involved, citizens are the main reference subject because what is being pursued is the transformation of their real residential and/or work environment. Therefore, the aim of the process is to progressively transform citizens into agents of change, taking a leading role as key informants and actively participating in the definition of solutions to be implemented, activities, improvement projects, etc.

One of the specific objectives of oPEN Lab is to launch the oPEN Living Lab, seeking the involvement of citizens and local agents in the neighbourhood. For this reason, in the first phase, the partner entities have been working to shape all the necessary preliminary information to open the process to citizens and other stakeholders, as well as developing participatory and interactive tools to support the development of this process.

As a first step in establishing this Urban Laboratory, the project partner entities are calling an Agents Assembly, which will be a space for collective encounter, exchange, reflection, and creation.

The first session of the Assembly will be mainly informative. The objective is to provide clear and relevant information about what is being pursued, the role of oPEN Lab in this long-term journey, what a Positive Energy Neighbourhood and oPEN Living Lab are, show the tools that have been developed in this regard, and explain how to participate in the process. This prior knowledge is essential for the set of agents and, especially citizens, to clearly understand the project, its context, and be able to decide what type of participation and role they want to have in it.

The first Agents Assembly will take place in the Rochapea neighbourhood, at the Museum of Environmental Education (C. Errotazar, M1) on 3 May 2023 at 19:00 CEST.

Based on all the above, the partner entities of the oPEN Lab project share the desire to achieve a high level of participation, which is the key to the success of establishing the Urban Laboratory and its future journey.