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City of the Future Living Lab

City of the Future Living Lab

Innovation is the talk of the town, though ways to hone and foster it are complex and require a methodology that must continuously adapt and evolve.

For this reason, the “Center for Advanced Technology in Health and Well-Being” unit in the San Raffaele Scientific Institute (OSR) in Milan has set up the City of the Future Living Lab, with the aim of exploring the Living Lab methodology for the nurturing of innovation and the deployment of tomorrow’s eServices.

By involving users directly in the creation process (Co-Creation) eServices within a real city environment, a user-driven open innovation ecosystem was created thus bridging the gap between fundamental and applied research. By integrating the strengths and engaging the efforts of users, stakeholders, researchers, SMEs, large enterprises, institutions and policy makers, the City of the Future Living Lab is proving to be a successful breeding ground for disruptively innovative eServices, the foundations for future Smarter Cities.

In order to create true innovation, the Living Lab listens and observes users throughout the entire process of development and deployment of services with the aim of improving their mental, social, cognitive, physical and emotional well-being.



San Raffaele Hospital in Milan has set up the City of the Future Living Lab, both a virtual as well as real research environment and community. The Living Lab is managed and organized by “Center for Advanced Technology in Health and Well-Being”, a department of OSR specialized in the application of Information and Communication Technology to health, with the aim of developing and delivering services to the hospital’s infrastructure as well as fostering innovation across numerous domains and disciplines. The Living Lab follows along the conceptual framework in which user-driven innovation is fully integrated within the co-creation process of new services, products and societal infrastructures.

The City of the Future Living Lab is an ecosystem where a multitude of stakeholders and partners work alongside each other, sharing knowledge whilst interacting with a wide variety of ICTs, therefore creating a fertile ground for innovation and cross-disciplinary research and communication. Indeed, the design process of services adopted within City of the Future Living Lab is based on three main drivers: Function, Emotion and Relation.

Function represents satisfying a person’s practical and basic needs through a service; Emotion is related to a service that enables a person’s psychophysical and emotional well-being; and Relation is a service that promotes social interaction among individuals and with their surrounding environment. In this way, the services created through the collaboration of a large multidisciplinary team, empower users to bring about positive changes that will improve the way they feed themselves, interact with one another, learn, move about and stay active.


Being situated within the San Raffaele Scientific Institute grounds allows the Living Lab’s team to build intense cross-disciplinary collaborations between medical and healthcare professionals, designers, engineers, policy makers, and entrepreneurs, across a number of different fields, from healthcare to well-being, from mobility and transportation to tourism. This unique ability of integrating healthcare, well-being, design, engineering and ICT is what differentiates City of the Future Living Lab from other Living Labs.

Another unique characteristic of City of the Future is that it embodies a City because its location and structure allows it to access, understand, study and measure the interactions among users (over 20,000 a day), health and well-being services that go beyond the walls of the hospital. The San Raffaele Science Park in Milan, covers an area of 300,000 and it can be described as a tertiary urban area, or a compact urban district that includes both newly developed and retrofitted buildings, where all daily and typical operations are concentrated in a reduced space.

city of the future 4

The Science Park includes buildings with very different destinations:

  • Public:  A Private Hospital with 1,200 beds, more than 580,000 patients a year, over 7.2 million of ambulatory visit and lab tests executed per year, more than 25,700 surgery operations executed and more than 57,900 accesses to the Emergency Department. A Private University with 3 Faculties and more than 3,000 students. An Automatic Transport System (ATS) connecting the district to the public metro line every 5 minutes. The public areas include a kindergarten, sport facilities, a horse riding school, a small zoo and an heliport. The largest Italian covered car park (60,000 m2) is also present.
  • Commercial: Below ground level, near the ATS station there is a commercial gallery, offering patients and visitors a library, a supermarket, a hair stylist, two cafeteria and a restaurant, orthopaedics and optics products, a bank, a fashion store, a travel agency, a cleaner’s.
  • Offices and Research facilities: The area hosts a Department of Research founded in 1992, called DIBIT (Department of BioTechnologies), that is now one of the most important research centres in Europe, and the biggest Italian private BioTechnological Science Park. Currently, with new DIBIT2 buildings, it extends over 114,000 square meters of laboratories hosting 717 researchers.
  • The laboratories of two important charity research organizations, San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR Tiget) and Cystic Fibrosis Association are also present in the Science Park.
  • Residential: HSR includes a residential area of around 20,000 square meters, and has recently built a hotel with around 300 rooms.
Alberto Sanna [javascript protected email address]
Alberto Sanna

Research Center for Advanced Technology in Health and Well-Being
San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Milan, Italy

Innovation Hub
Italian Observatory for the Protection of the Sea
Agriculture & Agri-food
City of the Future Living Lab

Historically Labelled Living Labs


Since its formation in 2006 ENoLL has labelled 440+ Living Labs. See the full list of Labelled Living Labs who are not active members of the network.



Torino City Lab (Italy) – 5G towards 6G for Citiverse: How AI, IoT, Blockchain, and XR are driving urban innovation in future Cities & Communities

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024
Turin, Italy
The international event will take place in Torino on June 18th, 2024 and will be focused on showcasing and promoting the debate among Public Authorities, Research and Industry on concrete advancements in the application of 5 to 6G emerging technologies solutions for urban innovation towards the upcoming European paradigm of “CitiVerse”.

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