- about us
TLL Sicily is the first instance of a concept we have called “Territorial Living Lab”, that integrally applies the LL approach to a territory and its citizens, its model of governance and its strategic plans for the future: in essence, it can be conceived of as a new model for regional development.
The objective of a Territorial Living Lab (TLL) is to use ICT to develop innovative means of participatory strategic co-planning and territorial self-governance, under the assumption that citizen co-responsibility and ownership, awareness of context and implications of choices, and monitoring of the impacts of decisions taken can together finally generate models for sustainable spatial development. The three arenas of e-Democracy, e-Government services, and GIS-based tools for strategic planning and environmental monitoring have been well developed to date. TLL Sicily integrates them within the Living Labs philosophy, that is as a continuous cycle permanently and ubiquitously embedded in the culture and practice of a territory and its citizens, businesses and institutions. As governance and territorial planning are multi-level processes, the TLL model involves the regional dimension in a role of strategic coordination while directly involving local authorities, citizen groups and ad hoc local partnerships in actual experimentation. In a complementary fashion, the technical platforms and services supporting the TLL are implemented by ad hoc partnerships between global actors and regional research bodies together with local service providers. The end result is a significant step forward for the Living Lab model in that it applies the co-creation method to the higher level of the application domain space itself – strategic regional planning for sustainable development. As such, it also constitutes a substantial innovation in spatial planning methods and practice, promising the development of a new model of governance for territorial competitiveness.
TLL Sicily is organised as an open network headed by CRES for the technical ICT dimension and the Regional Department of Planning as concerns the dimension of territorial governance. The third component of the network is the set of local authorities and agencies responsible for implementation of specific Living Lab environments within the regional framework. Some examples:
• A fishing cooperative along the northern coast is installing broadband access for boats at sea as part of an Integrated Coastal Management scheme for local sustainable development.
• The municipalities of Bagheria, Monreale and Santa Flavia aim to set up eDemocracy platforms for decisions concerning planning and environmental issues.
• A consortium of mountain towns near the Etna volcano are applying rural Living Lab approaches to improve the competitiveness of local bio-agriculture and agri-tourism sectors.
• The regional MOTRIS initiative is negotiating with a range of local authorities for experimentation of a new model of “integrated relational tourism” and its related service platform.
• A Local Action Group created under the LEADER program in the Val d’Anapo is installing a wireless network for managing an extensive natural reserve including several municipalities.