As a predominantly rural region, most communities in East Arkansas are small, and lack the necessary resources for successful community and economic development planning.
So the East Arkansas Planning & Development District (EAPDD), one of 380+ Economic Development Districts around the country funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, used a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to launch reNEW East Arkansas — a project to help the region and its communities create comprehensive plans for guiding future development. EAPDD enlisted Civic Analytics to create a free, publicly-available data platform that communities could use to put their new plans into action.
We built a data platform for the EAPDD website that allows users to easily identify local trends, visualize future scenarios, and make informed decisions.
The platform is powered by Google technology and includes a warehouse of primary and secondary data available for download, an interactive map for viewing data, and tutorials or "field guides" with step-by-step instructions for how to leverage the EAPDD data platform to complete planning activities, such as downtown redevelopment, housing studies, brownfield restoration, and regional transportation planning. No formal training or planning experience is needed to successfully use the field guides, which is one way we are leveling the playing field for small, rural communities.
Selecting the right technology to collect, manage, and present your data can be challenging. Civic Analytics has extensive experience utilizing relational database management systems (RDBMS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), 3D modeling, data visualization, web hosting, and cloud computing technologies.
Civic Analytics incorporates geodesign into traditional planning methodology, which allows us to measure and visualize multiple development scenarios in the early stages of the planning process. Geodesign makes planning more inclusive, transparent and responsive than working with land use plans.
At Civic Analytics we know from first-hand experience as practitioners and teachers how important it is to be able to communicate effectively using data. We are helping planners across the country, as well as future planners here in Austin classrooms, put data to use for successful community and economic development.
Research and Analysis
We conducted research that helped EAPDD make smart, data-driven decisions. Our team provided meaningful insights based on an expert command of data sources, tools, and techniques. Our services were more cost-effective than purchasing, maintaining, and training staff to use expensive, proprietary data tools, and more efficient than trying to master cumbersome public data sources.
“Civic Analytics has gone above and beyond what we expected in providing our team with a unique product that combines expertise in the fields of economic development and data management to create data-driven, strategic decision-making for our region. We are now able to offer much needed data to our community leaders.”