BuurThuis – Graduation presentation of Linda Smit

Linda Smit, one of our graduation students in the Open4Citizens project, will present her graduation project on Friday the 25th of May, 15:30h in lecture hall B of the 3mE faculty.

BuurThuis: a citizen participation tool that stimulates citizens to feel home in their neighborhood.

A project initiated by Open4Citizens, a research project of the EU, that is focused on how the feeling home of residents in gentrified neighborhoods could be improved. A case study of Spangen, a gentrified neighborhood, is used to understand how the feeling home manifests. The problems with feeling home in this neighborhood are being visible when a citizen’s initiative is initiated in public space. Local residents are not or barely involved in the development of this initiative and that is why these residents do not feel home anymore. The proof of concept, BuurThuis, shows how to make participating in the development of an initiative more accessible and how that improves the feeling home.


Park+Zorg Groene Connectie Hackathon reflections

Last weekend the Park + Zorg Groene Connection took place in Jong Delfshaven, Rotterdam. In this vibrant event, citizens activists, park volunteers and design students joined forces to work on local challenges in Rotterdam West. Three teams were formed to work on the following:

1. Participatory budgeting: How to involve citizens in the budget distribution process for the neighborhoods?

2. Cultural historic values and biodiversity: How to create insights in these values by using the historic Port train track (Haven Spoorlijn) as central starting point?

3. Connect care with the parks: How can you catch the narratives of people in the community to combine it with hard (health-) care data, so that you as the Groene Connectie can respond to those needs?

Friday was kicked-off by discussing the challenges in detail and through exploring data. The data exploration was leaded by questions fitting the challenges. For inspiration, different data visualizations were explored from the “Conversation with the city” (Gesprek met de stad) dataset, Instagram and Twitter activity of Rotterdam (by Social Glass), as well as online databases like the Healthcare Atlas (Gezondheidsatlas). At the end of the day, the teams had to narrow down their challenges, whereby the data exploration helped to reframe them.

One main finding of the exploration is that looking only at the numbers does not give you enough information to draw conclusions on: “It is important to include the narratives of the people in the community”, implying the necessity of combining statistical data with contextual data.

Early on Saturday, we continued the hack by first enjoying breakfast together. The teams proceeded in a 3-step pressure cooker co-creation. The first step involved brainstorming ideas for their challenge and select the best idea to continue with. In the next step, the idea was made more tangible, and sketches, storyboards, film shots were being produced to create prototypes. One enthusiastic group went on an excursion to make film shots on different park locations and to collect wooden train tracks from their kids at home. In the final step, the three groups pitched their final concept to a jury according to the following criteria:

Best concept:

  • most potential for further implementation
  • best connected to the local challenges
  • stimulating participation (accessible, inclusive)
  • best social added value

Most meaningful use of (open) data:

  • The most meaningful use of open data!

All three groups came up with great results:

Concept 1: “Daadwerkelijk” 010

A digital platform for the Groene Connectie to show what projects are running / being organized and how it addresses different themes that correspond to local needs. Whereby time scale and tools are used instead of money to give the projects a different dimension. Citizens can join a project and vote for the project to make it happen.

Concept 2: Wat voor fietser ben jij?

A conversation starter in the neighborhood for collecting stories about health themes / indicators over time. The idea was part of a larger process to generate narrative data over time.

Concept 3: Sporen van Delfshaven

A train wagon will be used to collect stories about certain areas in the neighborhood and physical objects will contain these stories around the Groene Connectie. This allows citizens/tourists to walk different routes like for instance a ‘historical route’ or ‘architectural route’ where they get information about invisible/hidden values.

After the presentations, two awards were handed-out. The winner of the best concept was “Sporen van Delfshaven” and “Daadwerkelijk 010” was acknowledged for most meaningful use of (open) data. The positive energy and input from everyone was celebrated with drinks to close the event.


Thank you all for joining and making this hackathon a great success!

We look forward to continue with the ideas and to follow up in future events. Hope to see you around!





Healthcare-data expert session reflections

On 18 May, OpenDataLab Rotterdam hosted a successful healthcare-data expert session at the Wijkpaleis, a community centre in Delfshaven.

The aim of the session was to bring together different parties working on the various aspects of healthcare in Rotterdam, from the big institutions, such as the GGD Rijnmond, to citizen initiatives, such as the Groene Connectie and the Zorgvrijstaat. We embrace the co-creation power of bottom-up activists and top-down policy-makers, and this session proved the importance of their dialogue again. We explicitly wanted to combine people that are interested in healthcare data, and people that collect and publish healthcare data.


The session started with short presentations:

  • Open4Citizens Rotterdam: Introduction of the Open4Citizens project by the OpenDataLab Rotterdam, and the Rotterdam pilot focused on the self-management of public parks.
  • Natuur of recept: a project by the Groene Connectie, where GPs can recommend visiting public parks for their patients.
  • Healing Spaces: a research project by urbanist Inès Péborde, focused on prototyping sensory and therapeutic environments that would positively impact people’s physical and mental health.

Data workshop

The presentations were followed by a workshop to identify the different problem areas in the interest of the participants, and to further investigate later in two breakout groups. One of these groups addressed loneliness and elderly (a problem in Rotterdam) and assessing how neighborhood level interventions could leverage impact. The other group focused on mental health related questions, such as the connection between depression and how may the surroundings influence that. These topics were facilitated around available data. Using the Gezondheidatlas and the Waarstaatjegemeente , the groups explored factors potentially playing a role (such as social and emotional loneliness).

The Gezondheidatlas is an invaluable tool to better understand public health data of the Netherlands, however it is also a daunting tool at first use to navigate through the complexities of the dataset. By having an expert from GGD in the room, all of us learned tips and tricks to immerse in the public health data for further explorations.


Three hours is not sufficient time to change the world, but it’s a good start. The healthcare-interested officials and citizens in the room were enthusiastic to meet others as passionate about healthcare as themselves, and new connections were formed. OpenDataLab Rotterdam is organizing another hackathon in the autumn of 2017 on self-managed parks and healthcare. Continue there?


Fijne feestdagen

Het Open Data Lab Rotterdam wenst iedereen hele fijne feestdagen en een gelukkig nieuwjaar.

In 2017 zijn we terug met nieuwe evenementen om de ontwikkeling van open data te blijven voortzetten!


ODL Rotterdam is nu open!

Tijdens de Park Hackathon afgelopen november zijn de eerste ideeën ontstaan die verder ontwikkeld kunnen worden in het Open Data Lab. In 2017 worden nieuwe evenementen georganiseerd om het ODL Rotterdam verder te ontwikkelen, en deelnemers van de Park Hackathon te ondersteunen met het verder ontwikkelen van hun idee.

Hou de site in de gaten voor de nieuwe evenementen!