Regional Data Platform

Overview

 

The Regional Data Platform (RDP) will provide a modern system for holistic planning across the region, fostering a more sustainable and equitable future for Southern California. 

The RDP is intended to achieve the following goals: 

  • To enable stronger local planning by providing modern planning tools and best practices to assist with General Plan updates.
  • To streamline the process of collecting and integrating data from member agencies to SCAG to enhance regional planning.
  • To facilitate transparency and collaboration, locally and regionally, to drive more democratic and sustainable planning.

What is the RDP?

SCAG’s RDP is a collaborative data sharing and planning system designed to facilitate better planning for cities and counties of all levels across the region as a whole.

The RDP is a signature element of SCAG’s Future Communities Initiative – a work program adopted to accelerate SCAG’s leadership in technology and big/open data to promote a smarter and more connected region. As one of SCAG’s largest and most transformative projects to-date, the RDP focuses on using data to help solve our common challenges.

The RDP will standardize regionally significant datasets, provide opportunities for local partners to update their data in real-time, and draw insights from local trends. More specifically, it will be an online tool for SCAG and local jurisdictions to access data necessary for local general plan development and general decision making by monitoring transportation, land development trends, housing and economic growth, and sustainability conditions. The platform will also feature a data-driven collaboration hub for local jurisdictions to engage with stakeholders for individual projects, such as local and regional land use planning, active transportation planning, greenhouse gas reduction strategies and development impact assessments.

Moving beyond just technology, this platform will help governments engage with data in a simpler way, allowing the interpretation of information into actionable insights and knowledge, and provide a digital venue for local agencies to engage with their residents using data as a medium.

Process wise, SCAG will enable users to improve the platform through data revision and insight sharing, empower local partners to use the platform for their own initiatives (thereby spotlighting best practices), and ultimately foster continuous experimentation at the local level by helping jurisdictions understand how their plans could impact the region’s most significant challenges – transportation, jobs, housing, and sustainability. 

Intended Users

Local Jurisdiction Planners

  • Access authoritative, standardized data for planning curated and maintained by SCAG
  • Analyze, design, and publish plans for General Plan Updates
  • Engage the community using easy to configure tools and templates
  • Engage with other planners across SoCal to share best practices and highlight your work

Consultants

  • Access RDP data and tools on behalf of local jurisdictions to assist with planning
  • Contribute data to SCAG on behalf of local jurisdictions via Local Input tools

Developers & Other Data Stakeholders

  • Access data, APIs, and other resources through the Regional Hub

Local Government Leadership

  • Monitor and report progress toward goals
  • Support policy and decisions backed by data and analysis

The Public, Partners, Other Stakeholders

  • Learn about your city through open data and web apps like the SoCal Atlas

Key Components and Benefit

Local Jurisdictions, of any size and technology footprint, will be provided complimentary software licenses for a suite of engagement tools, including Business Analyst, ArcGIS Urban, and ArcGIS Hub, to support a multitude of common planning and engagement workflows.

Users will also be able to easily request one-on-one technical assistance from SCAG’s Local Information Services Team (LIST) initiative—a team of technical staff that provides one-on-one technical and information services. LIST aims to: 1) link SCAG’s available information products to help address local information needs (e.g., data, applications, model policies and best practices, topical whitepapers, etc.) and 2) provide local jurisdiction staff an opportunity to offer feedback on how SCAG can improve its products to facilitate better collaboration, regionally, and locally. Contact list@scag.ca.gov for additional information.

On the whole, the RDP will provide a more streamlined experience for contributing, validating, and updating local jurisdiction data shared with SCAG and the ability to engage and collaborate on shared data, resources, and best practices as part of a growing community of planners across Southern California. 

Timeline and Rollout

Beginning in the fall of 2020, SCAG partnered with ten member agencies from across the region to collaboratively engage in fine tuning planning workflows and document requirements of the RDP.

Relying on feedback from outreach efforts, we developed a comprehensive database and suite of long range planning and resident engagement tools to support General Plan updates. 

A pilot of the RDP was operational for a subset of five pre-selected member agencies in the summer of 2021. Their feedback will inform updates prior to the system being shared across the wider region. 

As part of the overall RDP project, SCAG launched the Housing Element Parcel (HELPR) tool. HELPR is a web-mapping tool which helps local jurisdictions and stakeholders understand local land use and site opportunities for aligning housing planning with the state’s 6th cycle housing element updates. HELPR is principally based on updated, curated versions of parcel-level land use data and other datasets available through SCAG’s open data portal. 

For a full timeline of tools that will continue to be rolled out throughout 2021 and 2022, see the table below. 

Summer 2021
  • RDP software licenses available.
  • Housing Element Parcel Tool (HELPR) available.
  • Collaborative tool testing with pilot jurisdictions.
Fall 2021
  • Launch of the Regional Data Platform.
  • Regional Hub, all web-apps and planning tools will be available to the entire region at this time.
  • Training resources to support use and adoption of the RDP.
  • Data sharing (Local Data Exchange) capabilities will only be available to a subset of pilot jurisdictions for additional performance testing.
Spring 2022
  • Phased rollout of Local Data Exchange capabilities to the rest of the region to support SCAG’s upcoming RTP/SCS cycle.
Contact

For more information about the Regional Data Platform, contact: 

Javier Aguilar: aguilar@scag.ca.gov
Tom Vo: vo@scag.ca.gov