Data Trip Utrecht


Direct application in your own work, that makes it stick!


Open data underpinning a more data aware and data driven City of Utrecht

The City of Utrecht, the 4th city in the Netherlands, has been actively working to make open data and data driven management part of daily operations. In aid of that effort The Green Land provided practice oriented training for policy advisors and other civil servants: The Data Trip Utrecht. Aim was to let some 50 civil servants experience that open data can be a useful policy instrument in the execution of their own daily tasks. Too often open data is made part of the future, such as Smart City efforts, and disregarded as a tool in the present. In parallel the Data Trip created more open data to be published in the city data portal.

Four Ateliers and working to find people and data in between

We organized four Ateliers in which we took the participants through all the steps to deploy open data as a policy instrument in their own work. The first Atelier focussed on the individual current tasks of the participants, and the data that might be connected to those tasks. Data that either lets you do your job better, or data that allows others to act, sometimes in support of your goals. After ranking the identified data on interest and importance, the participants set out to locate and get that data internally. The 2nd Atelier looked towards policy relevant stakeholders around the work of the participants. Who are you dealing with? Who would you like to involve more? What opportunities do you have to use open data as a way to reach out to others? How does that fit existing programs and efforts in place? After making a stakeholder map participants set out to invite a few stakeholders for the final Atelier. In the third Atelier the internally collected data was explored. What can you do yourself with it, what does the data contain, how easy is it to visualize it? Does that provide you with new insights? Afterwards local companies working with data were approached to create quick prototypes of what they can do with the data the participants brought. In the final Atelier this was all brought together: the invited stakeholders and the participants came together, and after being shown the prototypes the various local companies built, engaged in discussion and conversation. This way the data triggers new relationships and interaction and becomes part of your daily toolkit. Selected datasets were published in the city portal.

Learning to see Open data as a regular tool

It is easy to see open data as something outside of the ordinary, or something others may ask about. The real challenge is to actively use open data as a tool in your own daily tasks: who could do something with ‘my’ data, in ways that impacts our policy goals? Then publishing data forms a deliberate intervention in your policy field, to mobilize others. Especially if you do active outreach to those other stakeholders and make them part of your network.

Delivered by Ton Zijlstra and Frank Verschoor in 2015
Assignment by the City of Utrecht

Company Details

The Green Land B.V.

Visiting address:
Kobaltweg 38
3542 CE Utrecht
The Netherlands

Company registration / KvK 60858184
VAT/BTW NL-854090770B01

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