Collaboration system
for sustainable city planning

Service Design | Industrial Design
Educational project 2020
Team partner: Birnur Sahin
In collaboration with Husqvarna Group

Service Design | Industrial Design
Educational project 2020
Team partner: Birnur Sahin
In collaboration with Husqvarna Group

This project is an effort to create visionary solutions in line with the sustainable development goals, formulated by the United Nations.

How will living in cities change until 2030?

over 60% of

By 2030, more 60% of the worlds population will live in increasingly crowded cities

air quality

the rising demand of living space and car centric city planning leads to overheating, worse air quality …

loss of

… and loss of biodiversity as a result

impact on
mental health

It is proven that a lack of greenery has a negative impact not only on physical but also on mental health

What can we do about this?

We believe that it is a community effort
to combat those changes
and that there is a need for a
transparent and inclusive way to create a greener city.

Finding user needs and wishes

Expert interviews

With María Rosario García-Gil (Forest Tree Genetics from Umea Plant Science Center)
In this interview we learned how much potential there is in including researchers in process. Some of the most important take aways:

– Cities have a lot of unused potential to preserve biodiversity
– Getting funding is hard
– more exposure and recognition helps with funding
– Civilians can benefit from interaction (education, social events,…)
– Researchers can benefit from civilians input (feedback, problems,…)
– Collaborate more! (Architects, industry,…)

Other interviews included lanscape engineers, gardeners and citizens from megacities all over the world.

Interaction workshop

In this group workshop we asked the participants to take the roles of one stakeholder each to identify how they would ideally like to interact with one another and what their needs and wishes were.

Service blueprints

We used several iterations of service blueprints in order design a workflow for the user and further define the interactions on a digital level.

Prototyping Interaction – hyper local experts

Sketch movies

Sketch movies were a helpful tool to explore aspects and details of the user experience that could otherwise easily be overlooked.

In the below scenario a local passerby discovers a green area in his neighborhood that needs improvement or has potential for a useful project like urban farming.
His suggestion is then submitted and discussed by the local municipality and experts who can join in to find a solution that creates the most benefit for the area.
In the meantime, the projects progress can be publicly monitored.

How might we create a more sustainable city scape in a collaborative way?

Round table

Each stakeholder can bring valuable knowledge and insights to the table. For this project it was crucial to identify how they benefit in the most effective way from each others resources.
We decided to focus on the three main players: Civilians, researchers and the municipality.

Democratize decision making

By bringing every stakeholder to the same (virtual) table, each party can immediately see and react to the needs and initiatives of one another.

Connect professionals with civilians

Researchers highly benefit from exposure and recognition in the public. It raises awareness for important issues and can generate much needed funding.
On the other hand, the public benefits from their research and general knowledge.

Empower citizens

Until now, most of the responsibility for shaping green spaces is held by the municipality. Giving citizens a channel to raise their interest and get creatively involved, is in both parties’ interest.

Part 01 – Bento modules

The bento module range consists of a base platform
that can be configured to contain:

– soil and plants
– an irrigation system
– insect hotels
– solar panels

The modules would be available in either 500x500mm,
500x1000mm or 1000x1000mm
for more flexibility
and ease of use on larger surfaces.


Self-sustaining greenery

Solar cells and a rainwater tank connect to the plug and play modules, creating an ultra low maintenance and highly resource efficient irrigation system. Custom modules like insect hotels such as beehives can be configured and added as well.

Part 02 – Bento digital platform

The digital platform is the democratic center for collaboration.
It can be used to create projects,
learn about others, fund your favorite projects,
report issues, and see heatmaps of your city

We’re collecting data,
but what can we do with it?

Many products are collecting lots of data, but how can you actually put it to good use?
Through Bento, users can see in real time the results of their efforts in bringing greenery back to the city and act accordingly by either adjusting plant and insect populations or initiating new project at places, that are still suffering from some of the issues mentioned previously.
We achieve this by equipping the Bento modules with the necessary sensors to track air quality, well-being of the plants and insects.
This allows wide-spread and detailed insights and therefore on demand optimization that can easily be implemented, thanks to the modular nature of Bento.

User journey

Choose goals

I want to improve my neighbourhood!

Configure modules

I can build my own custom greenery, tailored to my goals

Create greenspace

By just dragging and dropping I can re-green facades, abandoned parking lots or other spaces

Vote for others

After publishing my draft, others can vote for my proposal to be realised


I can also help scientists to fund their important research on
sustainability related projects


If I’m a researcher, I can get live feedback and quantification on my research data.
If I’m a civilian, I can always stay informed of the current condition of my neighbourhood.

Improving the quality of life in your city
is now in your hands, too.

before – after

before – after

before – after

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