Standardize Everything: Planning Data in a Digital World


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Certification Maintenance


CM | 0.75


Learning Outcomes

  • Take a more global, transferable approach to collecting, storing, and sharing planning data.
  • Discover how planners help define open-data standards that can enhance and organize commonly collected planning data.
  • Examine standardized forms of planning data and explore successful adoptions of those standards as open-source tools

More Course Details

The relationship between planning and technology changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Permits, meetings, presentation of maps and comprehensive plans, and many other interactions between planners and the public became digital. Both necessity and expected convenience propel common planning interfaces into digital and hybrid formats. We find ourselves awash with data created by our own administrative systems or procured externally. Data standards such as General Transit Feed Specification illustrate the potential to create a common language to describe aspects of our built environment. The challenge is to act collectively as a profession to articulate and seize similar opportunities.

Speakers examine emerging data standards and their connection to the emerging digital interfaces we use to engage and interact with the public. Data standards give planners the ability to "speak the same language" but it's unclear what those standards should be. Hear about case studies that explore these ideas. Inclusive planning must consider technology and how planners gather, compile, share, and request data. Movement toward standardizing data that impacts the built environment can set a baseline for equitable planning at a new scale.