Building an Economic Development Tool for Smart Communities

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and US Ignite are now in the software design phase of building a new economic development tool for smart communities. This is part of our joint Smart City Data Exchange initiative, and our aim is to provide communities with the ability to see development potential in their neighborhoods on a property-by-property basis for the purpose of attracting commercial investment and fostering economic growth.

The new data visualization tool is being developed on a Geographic Information System (GIS) based demographic map, and will use numerous datasets obtained both from open data portals and through our partnerships with cities and other private stakeholders. It will have the ability to extract information from data sources via API, and then translate that data for further processing, analytics, and visual presentation. Users will be able to enter the characteristics of a particular business into the application, and the software will suggest optimal locations for investment based on business type and specified attributes of interest.

Economic Data Tool under development

There are a multitude of reasons municipal leaders should be interested in this economic development tool. It will enable them to:

  • Illustrate and calculate the economic and social impacts of different development scenarios on a property
  • Explore snapshots of development potential based on zoning, development standards, infrastructure requirements, and funding options
  • Analyze land-use scenarios in the context of building healthier neighborhoods that feature multimodal transportation, walkability, and ease of access to community services

Every community wants to understand what drives the local economy and how to maximize assets to attract commercial interest and sustain growth. In the scope of this project, we’re working with select pilot cities and targeted datasets to help communities do just that.

In the future, we hope to scale our efforts even further.

Interested in getting your city involved? Get in touch. Interested in learning more? Check out US Ignite’s news announcement on its consortium of industry and community partners, and its blog post on building the data exchange framework.