City Lab Eindhoven

Why this project?
Stratumseind is the busiest entertainment street in Eindhoven and the longest in the Netherlands, with more than 50 bars over a length of 250 meters. 20,000 partygoers can be found on a busy day. That does not always end well and every year there are around 400 incidents of violence. The municipality of Eindhoven wants to make Stratumseind safer and more attractive without closing bars or using more police and decided to turn it into a living lab.

What does the project entail?
In the City Lab, companies, knowledge institutions, governments and users work together to come up with innovative products and services, with the aim of making the entertainment street safer and more attractive. In this living lab, researchers monitor and experiment with all kinds of innovations at the intersection of technology, sociology, violence control and crowd management, with the nightlife public as part of the experiment. The street is equipped with technology to collect non-privacy-sensitive data about the street activity through, among other things, smart lampposts, smart sensors, cameras and microphones. Based on this, experiments are performed with subtle interventions, for example with the help of scent and light, to influence behavioral change and to reduce aggression. Experiments have also been done with sound cameras, which are programmed to recognize abnormal, aggressive sound. As soon as abnormal noise is registered, a notification is automatically sent to the control room, which can assess via a camera whether police deployment is required. The sound can no longer be heard and no audio recordings are made.

Designing Out Crime is an example of a design method in which the street is 'softened' by reducing aggressive behavior through the design

What is the contribution from and to the Creative Industry?
Designers and design methods play an important role within the living lab. Designers bring together knowledge about technology and behavior, among other things by designing interventions that cause behavioral change. Project leader Tinus Kanters: "Designing Out Crime is an example of a design method in which the street is" softened "by reducing aggressive behavior through the design. Such as the "Temmende Terrassen" project, in which designers, pub owner, property owner and criminologists worked together to come up with a new design for the terrace. The terrace had to be broken off by the police after noon, because aggressive youngsters would throw their tables and chairs differently. That was a shame, because a terrace makes the street cozy and "softer" at the same time. The result of the project is a raised terrace, which creates a psychological barrier and prevents young people from standing on it. Large colorful parasols enhance the atmosphere and the drinks are more expensive, which excludes a certain audience."

In addition, experiments are being carried out within the City Lab with scent and light nudging. With some experiments the researchers come to the conclusion that a certain intervention does not work, which is also valuable information. Moreover, this clearly demonstrates the added value of a living lab, because results from lab experiments simply do not always catch on in the real world. An important principle of the living lab is the open character. The knowledge gained is shared with, among other cities, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Association of Dutch Municipalities and various European knowledge networks.

What now?
The working method within the living lab is a success and that is why the project will be rolled out throughout the city center in the coming period: from Stratumseind to City Lab. An important goal for the coming period is to strengthen cooperation with citizens or end users. Kanters: “We really want to hear opinions about what we are doing. Because we can think of everything with the latest technologies, but is it desirable? And are people waiting for it at all? But it is still quite difficult to involve citizens, we now have a sounding board group with around 40 people. Far too little yet. That is why we are first focusing on existing clubs in and around Eindhoven."

Beeld City Lab Eindhoven 2


  • Title: Stratumseind / City Lab Eindhoven
  • Duration: 2014 - present
  • Social challenge: Safety
  • Roadmap: Design for Change, The Humane Touch
  • KEM categories: Behavior and empowerment, Value creation and upscaling
  • Project partners: municipality of Eindhoven, Dutch Institute for Safety & Security (DITSS)