Our New Just Spaces Tool Helps Organizations Evaluate Equity in Public Space

Sep 17, 2019 9 months ago

Over the past decade, UCD has become a nationally recognized leader in data-driven placemaking. We have spent years designing, building, and maintaining public venues like The Porch at 30th Street Station, Trolley Portal Gardens, Parklets, and pedestrian plazas, and lend our expertise to partners throughout the neighborhood when they are developing their own public spaces. Although we excel at creating these spaces and making adjustments based on people using them, until recently we had not asked the important question of who is not using our spaces, and why.

To answer this question we have developed and released our Just Spaces data tool, a project supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation and UCD internal resources. Throughout this project, UCD embarked on a process to explore social justice in its own public spaces, events, and Green City Works landscaping social enterprise, and to develop a mobile-ready data collection and analysis tool with our partners at DataMade. We worked with an advisory group of experts in architecture, public education, design, public safety, and public art to build our tool.

We're pleased to share the results of our research on our newly launched Just Spaces website. The tool provides us, and anyone who decides to use it, with a resource to understand the impact of public spaces, to identify areas of improvement, and to launch new initiatives with justice and inclusion in mind.

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