2 April 2019 • Gideon Wille
Involvement of Delft civil servants motivates students
More and more people are moving to the city. In the Get Acquainted City Deal programme, cities and knowledge institutions get together to steer the developments in the right direction. During a presentation in Delft, students from THUAS and InHolland showed the results of the collaboration between the Municipality of Delft and knowledge institutions
Delft wants to build 15,000 new houses by 2040. That is a considerable task for a city with limited options for expansion. The municipality has drawn up an impact analysis to look at where the new houses should be built and the consequences for the city. It’s an important document for policy makers, but also for the residents. The municipal civil servants were looking for a way to make the information easily accessible. A team of students from the User Experience Design degree programme designed a dashboard for that purpose.
At a glance
“The impact analysis contains 150 pages filled with information”, says Jeroen Nijkamp, third-year User Experience Design student. “We wanted to create a way for the civil servants, and not only the specialists, to understand the information right away. Meaning, something without specialist technical terms and that everyone can use. For instance, something that allows you to see the consequences of building a hundred houses in Tanthof; what that means for the green public spaces or the supermarket at a glance.”
As ambitious and enthusiastic as the students were, they wanted to add as many parameters to their dashboard as possible. “We were a little naive”, said Jeroen, “it was too much work. In the end we designed a prototype with parking information and also added live information about traffic jams.”
After Jeroen’s presentation to representatives from TU Delft, InHolland, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and the municipality in a community centre in the Tanthof neighbourhood in Delft, the enthusiasm was tangible. Mayor Marja van Bijsterveldt: “It is quite adventurous, wanting to build 15,000 houses. With his dashboard, Jeroen clearly shows what will happen when you change certain things in the city. It was very interesting, because as a municipality we need that information to be able to take responsible decisions.
Jeroen is proud of the dashboard he and his fellow students created. “You see the penny drop with the users, like the mayor today, and they come up with all kinds of ideas for other things you can use this tool for.” Jeroen was very positive about the municipality. “They were very involved. We went to city hall every Friday to show them how far we had progressed; we felt like we were appreciated. Delft wants to use the dashboard and that is highly motivating.”
Lecturer Tim van den Bosch is pleased too. “This subject, Project Studio 2, is a kind of test graduation in a group context. Ideally they do this with a commissioning party from professional practice. I came into contact with Wilbert Hoondert from the municipality and contact person for the Getting Acquainted City Deal and he instantly said: I can arrange everything for you. It was a great place for the students. They were pleased with the municipality’s direct feedback, it made more of an impression on them than if it had come from a lecturer.”
If you would like to know more about the Get Acquainted City Deal, then email Caroline Draper. From 12.30 to 13.30 pm on 18 April there is a research lunch in the Innovation Playground about the Get Acquainted City Deal. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Read the previous article published in H|Nieuws on the Delft City Deal here.
Student Jeroen Nijkamp gives a detailed explanation of his dashboard to representatives from the Municipality of Delft, TU Delft, InHolland and The Hague University of Applied Sciences.