Data is integral to target-setting and tracking SDG achievement over time. While much attention has been given to national-level measurement and reporting systems, such as the U.S. National Reporting Platform (NRP), less has been done to determine how these types of activities might function at the city level. For the past year, Stanford University’s Sustainable Urban Systems Initiative (SUS) within the School of Engineering has been working with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a variety of local stakeholders in the California Bay Area, including the City of San José, and the City and County of San Francisco, to develop a local reporting platform, a data dashboard, and a marketplace of decision-making tools that could support and inform SDG achievement efforts. These solutions combine the best of top-down structure with bottom-up innovation to turn raw data into intelligence that is actionable for counties, cities, businesses, and communities.
The Stanford team has developed a brief entitled Data Tools for the California Bay Area: Actionable Intelligence for Cities to Support SDG Achievement as part of SDSN TReNDS’ Subnational SDG Strategies briefing series and the SDG Local Data Action Solution Initiative. The brief outlines the team’s preliminary progress in developing indicators for the local reporting platform, temporal and spatial scale comparisons for the data dashboard, and Esri Story Maps for local community groups as part of the marketplace of decision-making tools. The brief also lists strengths, weaknesses, and lessons from Stanford’s process, as well as guidance for data managers, planners, and community stakeholders from other cities to replicate these tools.
SUS is looking forward to the following next steps:
- Continue to expand and refine the data dashboard to include more metrics and visualizations (such as transportation affordability and hazard risk).
- Collaborate with the SDSN Cities Index team to build the Bay Area’s local reporting platform.
- Build more decision-making tools for the marketplace, like (1) community engagement tools for the Chinatown Community Development Center and District 3 San Jose and (2) sustainability planning tools for SF Planning and The Mayor’s Office of San José.
- Test the crowdsourced marketplace concept by hosting hackathons with Code for San José and other civic tech groups.