Data

October 13, 2014, 6am PDT
"Metrics" has become a buzzword in local government, but how do municipalities actually harness data to improve city services, operations, and accountability?
The Planning Report
October 8, 2014, 9am PDT
Following up on earlier reports about the latest commuting data from the U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey, Joseph Kane and Adie Tomer find different trends in commute choice between age groups.
The Brookings Institution
October 1, 2014, 5am PDT
When it comes to making sense of the American Community Survey's data on commute times, it's all about how you frame the data.
The Brookings Institution
September 7, 2014, 5am PDT
A new data set released this week by the U.S. Census is helpful for determining patterns of migration during the recession-troubled years of 2008-2012.
Trulia Trends Blog
June 27, 2014, 5am PDT
Architect Dave Hampton reviews the 2nd annual Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network workshop held June 11 in Chicago.
UrbDeZine
May 24, 2014, 5am PDT
If you're looking for more data on housing in the United States, a dataset produced by the United States Postal Service has many advantages.
CityLab
April 4, 2014, 12pm PDT
A new animated map presents the reported cases of potholes in Chicago since November—the maps colorful and provides insights into how the city, and our relationship to it, can change with time.
Chicago Tribune
February 7, 2014, 1pm PST
An enterprising blogger has produced a slew of urban maps with an overlay of publicly available data on exercise routes. In addition to being fetching, the patterns revealed show how runners make use of the public realm.
FlowingData
January 30, 2014, 7am PST
A HUD funded project has provided the city of St. Louis with a fine-grained map of residential real estate conditions across the city. Officials are hopeful the data will better guide the distribution of precious community development dollars.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 17, 2014, 7am PST
Cities can be undersold or oversold in equal measure, but they never fail to present a shortage of data. With its #citydata series, This Big City explores the sometimes surprising facts about cities that emerge from the din of urban life.
This Big City
October 8, 2013, 12pm PDT
When the federal government shut down last week it took many agency websites along with it, depriving planners around the U.S. of resources they use daily. The blog Data Insights has put together a list of alternative sources for federal data.
Data Insights
September 27, 2013, 9am PDT
With a goal of improving the quality of life for the city's residents, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is embarking on a titanic task: using technology, transparency, and accountability to transform the city's "lumbering" bureaucracy.
Los Angeles Times
September 9, 2012, 1pm PDT
Self-described "civic hacking veteran" Mark Headd has joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's administration as the city's first "chief data officer," with the mission of "improving public access to information the city collects."
The Philadelphia Inquirer
June 28, 2012, 6am PDT
As new research data on cities pours in daily, interesting patterns emerge regarding income, green space and urban growth. Like people in their genetic make-up, are cities fundamentally all the same?
The Economist
May 24, 2012, 7am PDT
Ben Hecht offers his insights on what civic leaders should do to capitalize on big data and how efforts in Chicago are turning these ideas into reality.
Huffington Post
Blog post
May 11, 2012, 9am PDT

People love statistics. They let us understanding the world beyond our own senses. USA Today publishes a daily Snapshot which presents a graph of random statistics. Sports talk and business analysis are dominated by statistics. We measure our progress, or lack thereof, and compare ourselves with others, based on statistics about our size, activities and accomplishments.

Todd Litman
May 10, 2012, 7am PDT
Adie Tomer looks at how Vienna contributes to Europe's smart city movement through innovations in sustainability, place-making, and data utilization.
The New Republic
May 2, 2012, 8am PDT
The seven largest metros in the nation are teaming up to unify the technologies that are revolutionizing life in the city, Steve Towns reports.
Governing
March 14, 2012, 6am PDT
Ben Hecht contemplates the currency of the digital age and how it will transform the cities we live in.
Living Cities
Blog post
September 1, 2011, 7am PDT

Historically, data sources for urban planning have remained relatively stable. Planners relied on a collection of well-known government-produced datasets to do their work, including statistics and geographic layers from federal, state and local sources. Produced by regulatory processes or occasional surveys, the strengths and limitations of these sources are well known to planners and many citizens. However all this is beginning to change. Not only has the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey introduced a bewildering variety of data products, all with margins of error, three interrelated categories of new data are growing rapidly: crowdsourced, private, and "big" data.

Robert Goodspeed