Abstract: The Metropolitan Area Planning Council uses data and technology to support more informed decision making across more than 100 cities and towns in Greater Boston. The work of the Data Services Department falls across four primary domains: Compiling, crowd-sourcing, or manufacturing data to build a better understanding of the region’s systems; democratizing access to data through interactive web portals and open data initiatives; forecasting a range of future scenarios based on different assumptions about policy decisions and external forces; and maintaining an indicators program to track progress toward regional goals. The narrative and presentation methods for this work also seek to achieve certain strategic objectives: disrupt conventional wisdom about regional and local trends; build the capacity of stakeholders to engage with policy makers and experts; bring competing priorities into higher relief so they can be more effectively balanced; and maintain a public focus on the policy levers most critical to achieving regional goals. This presentation will describe the work of the council with specific examples of how our data work has influenced local and regional decision-making.
Bio: Timothy Reardon is the Assistant Director of Data Services at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a regional public agency serving Metro Boston. He has over fifteen years of experience in regional planning, with a focus on using data and technology to support informed decision-making. Mr. Reardon oversees the agency’s applied research program where his current projects include integrated transportation and land use planning, socioeconomic projections, policy-oriented technical analysis, development of new datasets, and scenario modeling. Mr. Reardon had a leading role in the technical analysis, public engagement, communications, and implementation strategy components of MetroFuture, MAPC’s long range regional growth plan. He earned a masters degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.