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  • Data Tools and Modeling

    Urban is a leader in applying a range of cutting-edge methods—including machine learning, microsimulation modeling, and spatial analysis and mapping—to identify new insights and make them actionable.

    Contact us today to learn how Urban’s data analysis and one-of-a-kind data tools can help inform myriad efforts to improve the well-being of people and communities.


    Data Tool Helps City of Los Angeles Allocate Resources Equitably

    Screenshot of Urban Institute's Spatial Equity Data Tool.

    The Changemakers

    City of Los Angeles

    The Challenge

    The Equity, Performance Management, and Innovation (EPMI) team within the Office of the Los Angeles City Administrative Officer wanted to understand how to center equity in the city’s budget process.

    The Work

    Urban’s data scientists worked with city staff to develop a prototype digital tool that integrates selected Los Angeles datasets with Urban’s Spatial Equity Data Tool, which we designed to help government agencies, policymakers, and community advocates assess geographic and demographic inequities in their communities.

    The result was the new Measure of Access, Disparity, and Equity (MADE) tool, which analyzes how Los Angeles allocates its resources and helps city leaders better understand disparities in communities’ access to amenities.

    The Impact

    MADE now lives in a custom dashboard that city departments can use to develop annual budget proposals that more equitably target resources across neighborhoods and demographic groups.

    For example, the city’s Bureau of Street Lighting tested the tool by using it to develop their 2023 budget proposal for new electric charging stations. Their approach is helping ensure that historically underserved neighborhoods are not excluded as markets transition to renewable energy.

    In addition, EPMI promoted the new device powered by Urban’s Spatial Equity Data Tool as a key resource for the city’s 2024–25 annual budget process and included it in official budget guidance received by all departments.

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