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Innovative knowledge projects start in The Hague

The Municipality of The Hague called on researchers to come up with a proposal for an innovative research project on problems big cities face such as energy transition. Four of the five projects that have been granted funding come from researchers from Leiden University.

The Municipality of The Hague sees opportunities for innovation in the area between and around the three train stations, the Central Innovation District. Researchers, lecturers, PhD candidates and civil servants could enter their proposal for an innovative research project to the Knowledge Development Challenge. The proposal had to match at least one of the following three themes: next governance, inclusive cities and sustainable cities.

Incentive grant

The Municipality received 27 entries in total. Ten of the entrants were invited to present their plan to the jury. In the end five projects were each awarded a grant of €25,000. In its verdict the jury praised the angle that the proposals took: ‘The research projects are not about the “hard” side of science and innovation but the “soft” human side that is essential if innovations are to hit home in society and the economy.’

The Leiden University projects that have been awarded a grant:

Metabolism of Cities hackathon

Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) in collaboration with Metabolism of Cities (MoC)

The Municipality of The Hague would like to measure and gauge how sustainable it is. Existing indexes, such as the Municipal Sustainability Index, do not use crowd-sourced data. The CML therefore suggests a hackathon, a developers’ meeting, that will combine municipal data and crowd-sourced data. The online MoC platform will be used during the hackathon. The result will be a knowledge platform for the Municipality and other interested parties. The jury praised this information sharing: ‘Knowledge about The Hague is therefore not just the preserve of academia.’

Tailoring participatory budgeting for The Hague

Institute of Security and Global Affairs in collaboration with Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam

Participatory budgeting is a form of direct democracy in which the public rather than elected representatives decide how a municipal budget is allocated. Drawing up a participatory budget involves discussing public spending and setting priorities. The United Nations and the World Bank regard participatory budgeting as a best practice in democratic governance. Participatory budgeting is increasingly used in democratic governance, but the question is what is the right form for a city such as The Hague? This is what researchers from the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs want to find out. The relationship between citizen and government is a topic of discussion, the jury noted in its report: ‘Rejuvenating and improving this relationship is particularly relevant for local government.’

The Hague Going2Zero

The Institute of Public Administration and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science in collaboration with Delft University of Technology, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Clingendael Institute

Energy transition is high on the agenda of the Municipality of The Hague. Although some reforms can only be carried out through centralised systems, there is a need for bottom-up initiatives to speed up the transition process and generate public support. The researchers therefore want to develop a serious game, Going2Zero, which simulates the adoption of new energy systems, including the roles of stakeholders and government. The game will be tailored to the situation in The Hague by using real data and policy initiatives. The jury believes that this project can contribute to the interaction between the Central Innovation District and practice.

WASTED: exploring food citizenship as urban resilience

Leiden University College in collaboration with Delft University of Technology

Food waste in the Netherlands costs €150 per person per year. Two billion kilogrammes of food are wasted every year in the Netherlands, and households are responsible for a third of this. This study will look at how three communities (Dutch passport holders, people with a residence permit and expats) view food waste and what they do to reduce it. In its report the jury notes that the research has a firm scientific grounding. ‘The problem of food waste is serious and the applicants have highlighted it convincingly.’

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