Big Data and the rapid proliferation of new technologies are
poised to transform and disrupt traditional policy making and
planning within our local communities and across the Southern
California region as a whole. Through improvements in data
collection, analysis, and technology, governments have the
opportunity to be more efficient, innovative and transparent.
To ensure that public agencies in Southern California not only
keep up with the pace of innovation, but lead the nation, SCAG
organized the Open Data/Big Data – Smart and Connected SCAG
Region Committee in 2017. The committee discussed issues related
to data and technology and how SCAG could play a role in
supporting local governments by providing resources and
supporting data tools. Through a survey of local jurisdictions,
SCAG found an overall lack of capacity across the region for
instituting new technology and data solutions. Nearly 75 percent
of respondents lacked the financial resources to support data and
technology projects, and indicated that they did not have
sufficient staff resources to implement these projects.
To address these needs, the Open Data/Big Data – Smart and
Connected SCAG Region Committee issued a report of policy and
strategy recommendations called the Future Communities Initiative. The Future
Communities Initiative is an outgrowth of this report and
includes the following activities:
Development of a visionary Regional Data
Platform, which will serve as a clearinghouse of
demographic, economic, land-use and transportation data while
providing technical resources for in-depth analysis locally
and regionally. This GIS-based tool will allow member cities
to easily update their General Plan data and share this
information to their communities for input.
Continuation of the Policy
Lab which supports research and data analysis
projects in partnership with university and partner agencies
on selected subjects using SCAG’s data.
Implementation of the Future Communities Pilot
Program to support the deployment of new and
The general hosting of workshops and events to showcase
research, data tools and lessons learned.
Additionally, SCAG continues to research future emerging
trends and technologies to inform our region and member
agencies, as well as support the Emerging Technologies