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- Learn about coordinated data collection efforts to explain the impacts of COVD-19 through the perspectives of town planners, business owners, residents, consultants, and state regulators.
- Learn from data collection case studies and discuss how to identify what data to collect and how to identify appropriate sources to inform implementation.
- Understand how effective data collection paired with meaningful community engagement can lead to "shovel-ready" projects many stakeholders can support.
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COVID-19 challenged traditional planning timelines, funding mechanisms, decision-making models, and engagement tactics. Learn how to collect data in a post-COVID world. Presenters focus on a coordinated data collection effort in Massachusetts that yielded thousands of projects and engaged multiple stakeholders to protect, recover, and strengthen commercial districts. They explore different stages of the data collection process: framing key questions, confirming appropriate sources of information, collecting "soft data" or qualitative and cultural information, using data to drive decisions, implementing projects, and reflecting "post-occupancy." Big data clouds how planners make meaningful decisions that directly respond to constituent needs. Presenters share lessons from their experiences with data collection and highlight how to develop a data collection toolkit for responding to and communicating with communities that most need investment.