“During 2013, 6,922,484 tweets originated in Chicago. That same year, members of the citys Divvy bike-sharing program logged 750,000 rides and 633,647 callers reported abandoned vehicles, potholes, and rodent infestation through the citys 311 program.”—Noah Toly, “The City of Big Data—Is It Enough?” Thriving Cities Blog (December 2014)
Living in the era of Big Data and smart technologies, there are few aspects of our cities and communities that will not inevitably be measured in some way. From employment numbers to high school graduation rates, tools abound to track a community’s progress and wellbeing. This information overload is itself a growing challenge for practitioners, leaving cities and communities in a crowded metric market place with little guidance for discernment. Do our cities need more data?