One of our favorite customer quotes of all time comes from West Palm Beach's Downtown Development Agency's Executive Director - the formidable, outspoken, and ever-innovative Raphael Clemente. When discussing the toughest challenges he faces "getting it [great placemaking] done" he bemoaned the neverending battles he constantly has to fight with traffic engineers and regional and state transportation planners to try to convince them why he wants to create more pedestrian-friendly street designs or more often, stop them from making streets that much more auto-oriented. He expressed that his "opponents" came armed with data to defend the car-focused status-quo. His beautiful pictures depicting amazingly, walkable utopias - on their own - didn't quite cut it. But adding data to that vision - that was "like bringing a gun to the gunfight, finally allowing [him] to level the playing field."
Data is becoming a key part of the equation (pardon - sort of - the pun) - whether you're trying to "fight the good fight" or more generally are trying to incorporate more data-driven, evidence-based approaches to planning and design. This week, our Founder & CEO, Mariela Alfonzo discussed the role of data in the future of city-making with Parksify's Ash Blankenship.
If you're a city-maker who 1) needs to bring that gun to the gunfight to make the case for great places or 2) wants to understand how best to leverage the power of data to create more walkable, livable, SMARTer, cities, spend some QT with Mariela below!
If for whatever reason you're "anti-data," I have two thoughts: 1) Um, seriously? Feel a sudden-onset of FOMO coming on soon, anyone?? 2) I guess you want your city to become a "zombie" (for #GOT fans, that's a city full of wights - half-dead creatures - just mindlessly doing what they are told). Yeah, now you totally have to listen! Believe me, you'll thank me later!
TLDL (too long didn't listen)? Scroll through key quotes below to understand why not all data is created (or interpretted) equally...