Living Lab for Urban Mobility and Adaptive Space (LUMAS)

Overcoming a major barrier in realisation of mobility Living Labs by exploring means to facilitate transparent and adaptive access to privacy-sensitive tracking data.

This project will investigate how to overcome the major barrier in the realisation of mobility Living Labs by exploring means to facilitate transparent and adaptive access to privacy-sensitive tracking data.

Mobility and access is increasingly challenging urban planners and an equitable society. With continuing urbanization, cities are becoming increasingly crowded places due to the network effect. What applies on city scale can also be observed at a smaller scale, for example at airports, train stations or markets. The UoM Parkville campus is home of a world-class university and thus itself subject to the network effect. This is further assisted by closeness to the city center. The University is at times operating at capacity and is significantly impacted by major infrastructure projects. It suffers major mobility and access challenges for students, employees and visitors. Hence, the campus is a prime environment for a living lab on urban mobility and adaptive space use (LUMAS).

To perform its space use management more efficiently, the University has started collecting tracking data through the campus-wide wireless network. The users of the wireless network have explicitly agreed to the data collection under the protection of the privacy legislation. The proposed living lab – an approach for the co-creation, implementation and test of smart data analytics and information tools – will open this rich data source for research on further and smarter uses within the scope of the wireless network user agreement. It will engage with the persons tracked, students and staff, for co-creation, and thus achieve unprecedented transparency and dialog. LUMAS will provide the instruments to access the data, track its use, and ensure compliance with ethical and legal constraints. It will thus become a unique research facility worldwide.

LUMAS will address:

  • Living lab platform development
  • Exploring how to build trust for lawful uses of the data
  • Demonstrating scientific use of a trusted living lab

Providing this infrastructure in a long-term partnership with the University and the students enables true co-creation at various levels, providing ample opportunity for industry-based student projects, for academic research projects in partnership with industry, for entrepreneurship, and for transparent engagement with the broader public on collecting and using sensitive data. The University’s Digital Strategy is promoting to develop this kind of living labs. Moreover, the (unique) living lab can be offered to other environment such as markets, train stations, and cities.

Research Team

PhD Students

Subhrasankha Dey, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

Debjit Bhowmick, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

External Collaborators

Dr Fiona Tweedie, Chancellery, University of Melbourne

Dr Jan Dethlefs, Chancellery, University of Melbourne

Alice Smith, Student Union, University of Melbourne

Byron Collins, University Services, University of Melbourne


Seed Funding 2018

Cities as Living Labs, discussion paper, Melbourne Networked Society Institute, 2015.