Measuring is learning: Data for a curious city – Border Sessions

Measuring is learning: Data for a curious city

The Urban Data Center (UDC) of The Hague is a cooperation between the municipality and Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
It is a place for research, innovation and experiments, all the while keeping a close eye on keeping confidential data safe. The UDC’s goal?
Using available data even more efficiently and innovatively, as well as applying them to policy making.

In its first year, the UDC The Hague achieved concreted results, for example on better understanding poverty in The Hague and in obtaining the ISO37120 certificate for sustainability indicators. At the same time, many lessons were learned. Becoming more data-driven does not happen overnight. Barteld Braaksma (CBS) and Hedwig Miessen (The Hague) will illustrate this in an interactive session and also explain why The Hague aims to become the European Data Hub for the World Council on City Data.


Barteld Braaksma is innovation manager at CBS, the National Statistical Institute of the Netherlands. In this role he has supported and promoted a wide range of innovation tracks during the past five years, often in the form of concrete pilots or proofs of concept. For example, the current open data site of CBS started as a proof of concept under his responsibility. Other examples include the first infographics published by CBS, the introduction of a process mining tool for internal process optimisation, a number of concrete big data experiments and some pilots involving the use of mobile devices and sensors. In many cases, these innovation tracks have been realised in close collaboration with public and/or private partners like cities, universities, large companies and small start-ups.

In the past, Barteld has been involved in a broad range of activities at CBS, including research, development of new statistics, quality management and enterprise architecture. Beside his CBS duties, Barteld is active in different international groups at European and United Nations level; for example as innovation manager for the UN/ECE Modernisation Committee on Products and Sources and as a member of the ESS Steering Group on Big Data. He was secretary to the high-level group that formulated the ESS Vision 2020. Barteld was trained as a mathematician, in particular in nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. Before and during his career at CBS he taught mathematics at various universities in Holland and Belgium. In his free time, Barteld likes to play bridge; which implies a form of data processing which neither concerns open data nor big data.

Hedwig is an initiator of innovative projects, processes and communities. As an ICT consultant, Hedwig Miessen worked on various ICT change processes for ORMIT, a former subsidiary company of Ordina, and subsequently as a management concultant at CGI (formerly CMG).

As Programme Manager of ‘ICT in the City’ for the municipality of The Hague, she initiated programmes such as ‘govroam’, ‘smart city’, ‘resilience’, and the ‘innowijklabs’. For many years, she was national head of the programme Digital Cities Agenda (Safe City), including the City Rhythm research in collaboration with Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zoetermeer, Helmond, Zaanstad and The Hague. She is currently Programme Manager of the Urban Data Centre/The Hague and national leader of the ISO Certification of cities for ISO-37120 regarding sustainable development of communities. The Urban Data Centre is a place for research, innovation and experiments. The aim is to use existing data even more effectively and innovatively and to make this data available for policy development. An example of current research by this UDC is the degree of coverage provided by municipal services to those people who are entitled to them.



Thursday 14 June


10:00 - 10:30

Session type



Theater aan het Spui – The Great Magnet