Can Data Help Predict the Future of Your Community?

February 1, 2016, Department, by Hayley Herzing

mySidewalk provides access to online engagement and data tools to help with making more informed decisions. MySidewalk is answering the above question, which is on the mind of many park and recreation professionals in this age of open data, transparency and participatory planning. NRPA partnered with mySidewalk in 2014 to offer our members access to online engagement and data tools to empower agencies to build better communities through more-informed decision making.

With the data tools from mySidewalk, you can instantly find meaning, integrate and analyze information, and create and communicate what you discover. mySidewalk offers:

Access to more than 250 public data sets in the form of interactive pie charts, bar charts, tables and maps that are apportioned to unique geographies.

The ability to import and visualize proprietary data, including transit lines, 3-1-1 activity, crime, bus stops, project-specific boundaries, etc. 

Visualization of the location of individuals you are engaging using the participant mapping functionality. 

Creation of reusable map templates to save time on existing conditions reports and comparison analyses. 

Opportunities for online communication with citizens using an engagement tool that allows moderators to ask questions, post polls or make announcements. 

Paul Gilbert, NRPA member and executive director of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, is using mySidewalk for a project to plan and build new facilities at Beaverdam, a 1,000-acre park with a large lake in the center. “We are using mySidewalk to share plans and get feedback on a project to build an all-new regional park,” Gilbert shared. 

Interested in learning more? Click here for details on getting started. You can also download a free educational white paper detailing five trends impacting your engagement efforts. Finally, check out mySidewalk’s daily webinar series. NRPA members receive a 15 percent discount on mySidewalk to help you make sense of the local feedback you receive. 


Hayley Herzing is NRPA’s Membership Programs Manager.