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!