Redefining urban logistics — with e-cargo bikes over the last mile

Challenge

How might we boost the uptake of e-cargo bikes by residents and businesses in the Berlin Kiez?

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Rough prototypes were sketched out early in the workshop.

Goal

Distribut-e is a research project funded by the Federal Minsitry of Education and Research that involved people from academia, research institutes, e-cargo bikes manufacturers, district authority as well as residents and business owners from two Berlin Kiez. We were brought on to coach and facilitate the development of business and sharing models of e-cargo bikes over the last mile.

1:1 prototypes allowed for feedback from actual users.

Outcomes

Over the course of one and a half year we facilitated a workshop series — the so-called “Distribut-e Urban Labs” — where we addressed the challenges around e-cargo bikes over the last mile: What are the needs of the residents and businesses in the Kiez, how does a “Kiez e-cargo bike” look like, where can they be stored and how does the sharing work. We helped the teams to tackle these challenges by applying design thinking and using the business model canvas. The participants run interviews with people from the Mierendorff-Insel and Klausener Platz Kiez, ideated ideas, prototyped (incl. 1:1 prototype models) and tested them in the Kiez. After one year, a minimum viable prototype could be developed which was then further tested and refined. In the end, a business and sharing model should be designed and ready for pilot.

Ultimately, we delivered the four most prominent use cases for lighting and matching product proposals. Our research also triggered a different system bundling and a redesign of the house wiring layout, which saved Mobisol hundreds of thousands of Euros.

  • workshop facilitation
  • logistics, smart cities, citizen participation