The Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department keeps busy year round: with 223 parks, 82 playgrounds, 135 miles of paved trails, 110 athletic fields, 5 pools, and 11 recreation facilities, the Parks Department staff are never short on projects. Maeve Nevins, senior park planner, and Taylor Keegan, park planner, are implementing improvement plans for Anchorage parks. For two parks projects in particular, Maeve and Taylor used data and community feedback to inform their improvement plans. Through harnessing the power of both quantitative and qualitative data, they were able to understand the community’s needs and desires, ultimately garnering positive community responses for both projects as a result.
Alex Hutchinson, economic development specialist for Smart Growth America, has been working to tackle the lack of internet connectivity in Appalachian communities. Places that struggle with access to high-speed internet often face economic roadblocks as a result. A lack of internet connection can severely stunt a community’s growth. Read how he's using data to learn more about these places and help get them connected.
Karina Heim is a planner at WSB & Associates, a firm specializing in engineering, planning, environmental and construction services. In order to be successful in her work, she relies on data to understand different communities and project areas. Learn how she was able to go beyond traditional Census data to gather demographic information for her custom project boundaries.