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Londoners' Lab

Londoners' Lab

As London continues to grow, urban issues like waste management and recycling become more and more significant.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has stated his ambition to ensure London is one of the greenest, healthiest, most resilient, and resource-efficient world cities. Londoners’ Lab is a partnership between Greater London Authority, Ferrovial Services, University College London and Future Cities Catapult. The Programme will identify citizen-centric courses of action and solutions that will belong to the Londoners and that also could be applicable to other cities in and outside the UK.

Ferrovial Services will assume the programme management role through its Centre of Excellence for Cities, and its UK subsidiary Amey will contribute with their know-how in the provision of urban environmental services. The role of UCL in the programme is to engage residents directly, based on their deep experience in this area, to understand the challenge in more detail and gather ideas to improve it. From this, UCL will lead the design and creation of at least one solution.

The Future Cities Catapult team is advising on establishing an integrated solution in addressing the challenge of food waste collection. Our activities focus on identifying the right metrics to measure intervention and help to inform the design process for the intervention deployed, ensuring there is a clear evaluation element. There is also an opportunity through this activity for the Catapult to deploy a rigorous evaluation methodology against the chosen intervention.

The first project undertaken by Londoners’ Lab will focus on improving food waste recycling in flats as they present the most challenging areas. This will be done by engaging residents to better understand their recycling habits and to design suitable technologies to help them recycle more and better. The programme will be delivered on the ground in the London Borough of Ealing and then the learning will be shared across the capital and wider.

The methodology to approach the challenge is structured in four stages:

  1. Engage residents on the subject of food waste collection and the circular economy in flats.
  2. Design an intervention to improve sorting/recycling of food waste.
  3. Test new user-centred design approaches in relation to recycling and circular economy.
  4. Develop a repeatable methodology for ways of measuring the impact of initiatives in citizen-led city service improvement.

To keep updated with Londoners’ Lab news, visit the website.

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