Future Urban Mobilities: A Human Approach

Kick-off workshop

The first management meeting and the kick-off workshop was to find common ground for the project’s direction and to scope the work packages in a way that interconnected diverse agendas and interest of the partners.

Three agendas were targeted by the management group:

  • Connecting agenda between stakeholders
  • Scoping and framing the project and the kick-off workshop
  • Planning and coordinating the project and collaborative process

None of the partners were familiar with our approach to working. The city partners did not have experience of worked across industry-municipality-academic sectors before, and the City and Volvo partners had not previously worked together. It was therefore important to focus on dialogue and proximity between perspectives and interests from the partners to establish a foundation for the collaboration. The work was done in smaller iterations addressing questions such as:

  • Why and how do you want to be involved of this project (interest, background, projects, process)
  • What outcomes do you hope for from the project?
  • What wider or longer-term implications do you anticipate from this project?

Based on the framework of Scoping, Developing and Scaling the project partners developed a framework for the AHA project. Participants worked in stakeholder and mixed groups, to present and discuss their focus and interests, and negotiate how these could be integrated.

Themes were collected in the framework on the whiteboard and discussed and prioritized in new rounds of discussion by the participants. The work showed a clear interest in some aspects of the project, and helped participants prioritize and discuss different possibilities in the project (above framework are prioritized with most important themes progressively):

  1. What ambitions can we have for this project within the timeframe and resources?
  2. What concrete activities do we need for the project to be successful?
  3. What is not on the whiteboard that might be ‘higher’ goals, larger questions, unexpected outcomes, longer-term effects etc. – and how this might be addressed as part of the project.

The discussions focused on the needs in the project for understanding each other and build relationships through engagement.

  • Continuous transfer of knowledge from fieldwork
  • Common ownership and access to project materials.
  • Gather the right people in partner organisations and prepare them
  • Prepare workshops in productive ways using input from the project
  • Define user, stakeholders, participants in/for the project in more detail.

Moreover, it allowed discussions concerning complex or long-term aspects that were not in immediate focus in our framework, but important for the success of the project.

  • Defining the issues of concern in more detail – aspects of commuting, mobility, automation, etc.
  • Being clear on what we want to solve with automated cars and mobility from the many interests represented.
  • Missing stakeholders that we might need – public transport authority, Volvo Cars Mobility, and youth and other communities.
  • Politics involved: who controls the use of space in the city, citizens are reduced to agents in urban planning goals (UN goals, sustainable urban planning goals, technological imperialism)