Episode#59 DOLL Living Lab: An Innovation Playground Building Synergies in Smart Cities

GuestsTeddy Axelsen, the Head of DOLL Living Lab at We Build Denmark

Date of recording: 9 November 2023

Find transcript here


Summaries of Key Takeaways:  

  • Innovative Urban Solutions: Emphasizing the role of DOLL Living Lab in testing and implementing smart city technologies. 
  • Collaborative Approach: Highlighting the importance of collaboration among businesses, academia, and public sector to foster innovation. 
  • Living Lab Concept: Discussing the living lab as an environment for real-world experimentation with new technologies. 
  • Challenges and Adaptation: Addressing the structural and technological challenges cities face in adopting new solutions. 
  • Data Utilization: The critical aspect of selecting and using the right data for meaningful urban development insights. 
  • Success Measurement: Evaluating the effectiveness of technologies and initiatives on multiple levels, including technological reliability and contextual impact. 


“To you, what is a Smart City?”

Teddy Sibbern Axelsen: “Wow. Well, it's first and foremost a city that's comfortable for us to thrive, to develop and grow and enjoy life in together with our dearest, well, family, friends, nice colleagues, et cetera. So we as human beings, we have to have this space where we can grow and develop. And, well, history shows that we have designed our cities in some way complicated manner. So we are challenged to smaller and very big extent and that we need to do smarter, to do more sustainable. So we have smart and sustainable cities that we can thrive and have a nice future together with the ones we have the greatest time with. But I think a key aspect in this is of course to also a part of our job as part of BABLE and part of the We build Denmark organization with DOLL Living Lab is to be very specific about what are the city goals that we need to make the development move towards and how we do that in collaboration. And it's an ongoing challenge, but we have been giving some nice stepping stones on our way to understand the city goals better and more specific they are. And the better we will be in collaboration to turn those goals into practice, the more interesting it gets.” 



  • Prioritize creating environments that seamlessly integrate innovation into the fabric of urban life. 

" We can bridge the gap between what are the next opportunities, the new technological developments, and how to apply it in practice. " - Teddy Sibbern Axelsen 

  • Witnessing practical implementations provides a unique perspective that cannot be fully captured on paper or in discussions 

" The biggest advantage [of site visits] is definitely that you, on a very practical level, go to see how things are installed in a real-life environment. " - Teddy Sibbern Axelsen 

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of technology at various levels, considering the unique needs and context of your city 

" The key is really to understand at what level are you able to apply the right technology. " - Teddy Sibbern Axelsen