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RISE Interactive Umea - Bus Stop for the Sustainable Smart City of the Future

Bus Stop for the Sustainable Smart City of the Future

Together with Rombout Frieling Lab (NL), RISE Interactive is designing and producing a radical new proposal for a electric BRT Stop: the Upside Down Bus Stop. This Bus Stop will be an innovative flagship for the sustainable smart city of the future, focused towards the quality of experience for travelers and to promote sustainable transport.

RISE Interactive Umea - Bus Stop for the Sustainable Smart City of the Future 2
Photo: Ronald Helgers
Rombout Frieling Lab (NL) and RISE Interactive Umeå revealing the Bus stop design to Umeå Kommun.

Aim and goal
The aim of the project is to research, design and develop a flagship bus stop for the sustainable smart city of the future. The goal is to realise this bus stop as a fully functional bus stop by the end of 2018.

As a prototype, it will be in use but at the same time function as a way to challenge existing ideas of what a Smart bus stop in a sustainable city is or could be, and raising related issues for all partners involved around related areas (e.g. mobility, sustainability, existing policies or needs for new ones, etc.) 
The main purpose is to design and produce a bus stop that will be used by bus travellers in Umea by the end of 2018.

Sustainable and intelligent public transport networks are a key component of all urban development strategies for responsible cities of the future. This makes public transport a highly complex case: issues of technical innovation as well as environmental, economic and social sustainability are all equally important in developing sound proposals that have a direct impact on the city. The particular challenge in this project involves balancing such issues within a functional prototype that will be in use by the end of 2018, thus making these issues concrete for the individuals during their journey or travel experience.

The deep design-driven research process within this project identified the traveller experience as the core opportunity to explore intelligent public transport networks in urban environments.

The question is how the experience of using the bus stop can become a tangible experience of these complex issues and a felt symbol of the smart city.  To answer this question the bus stop is designed to  elicit responsible and sustainable behaviour by travellers. The design achieves this by taking into account the following ingredients:

1   make the bus stop a pleasant space to be with minimal use of electricity.
2   encourage people to ‘be in their body’, to move and re-connect with one-self or others
3   remove the necessity to pay attention to the bus and allow for relaxation, by developing a system that gives people time to be.
4   provide an environment that is an excuse for people to  ‘be’ without having to escape online

The Upside Down BRT Stop is currently entering the production phase. At present, the process of research, design and development has in itself been proven useful, as it has shown to expose a variety of different issues for the partners involved, ranging from public procurement procedures, ticketing systems, and more.


Project name

The Upside Down Bus Stop




Region Västerbotten

RISE role in project

RISE is project responsible and main contractor for the project. Main responsibility for the design research process.

Project start


1.5 years

Total budget

3.800.000 SEK


Rombout Frieling Lab


Umeå Kommun, Europeiska regionala utvecklingsfonden, Green Umeå, Ruggedised


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Contact person

Jeroen Peeters

Senior Design Researcher


Read more about Jeroen