In the urban setting services or products can be deployed temporarily (piloted) at limited scale or functionality to establish their viability or impact. A prototype is a pre-commercial version to test or develop a product, service or experience.

Download PDF


When you cannot confidently predict the success of an intervention a pilot or experience prototype can deliver validation and design input.

This is especially important in higher risk projects and when adoption is a concern.


Santiago brought users, doctors, nurses, health officials and bidders together through a multi-stage contracting process to tackle long wait times in primary healthcare. Finalists at each stage received growing stipends to support their participation, prototyping and pilots.

  1. Ideas competition 
  2. Demo day
  3. Neighborhood prototyping bootcamp 
  4. Pilot contract
  5. A full-scale contract (national roll-out)

The winning solutions were impactful in reducing waiting times, cost effective and had wide acceptance from users, funders and regulators—resulting in accelerated adoption.

Learn more


List Assumptions & Concerns

Prepare an overview of assumptions that underpin the project or concerns you have and rate them according to your confidence that they are solid.

Design simplest tests for validation

Each assumption that requires validation can probably be tested, and it is often best to find the simplest way to do so. Need inspiration? Many cities have published their experiences.

Pilot, prototype, test

Carry out and validate through your preferred method. Focus on the important aspects. Document the outcomes.

Integrate tests into procurement process

Pilots should be part of the procurement process to avoid creating delays or frustrations. Suppliers should understand the context of any requests ahead of time.

Receive tips for how to use mobility data to achieve policy outcomes in your city