Regional Data Platform


Regional Data Platform ImageVision

As the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States, SCAG has the critical mission of supporting 191 cities and six counties with transportation, planning, and economic development efforts. SCAG recognizes that civic issues are not constrained by local jurisdictional boundaries. Effective planning requires close collaboration, strong communication, and fluid data sharing across the region. 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.

Purpose of the Regional Data Platform

The Regional Data Platform 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 government 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. 

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 are developing a comprehensive database and suite of long range planning and resident engagement tools to support General Plan updates. 

A pilot of the RDP will be 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. 

More tools will continue to be rolled out throughout 2021 up through the expected launch of the Regional Data Platform in 2022.