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Smart Decisions, Smart Cities

A Webby Award-winning platform enabling city officials, researchers, academics, and citizens globally to interact with city data and engage in ongoing public dialogue.

Company/Client
Roles
Activities
  • Experience Design
  • Data Analysis & Visualization
  • Knowledge Management
  • Development
Recognition

CityForward was an innovative web platform developed by IBM as part of its Smarter Planet Initiative. Designed to serve city officials, researchers, academics, and engaged citizens, CityForward offered a comprehensive view of urban life across 250 major cities globally. The platform aimed to facilitate data-driven decision-making and foster a deeper understanding of urban trends.

Equitable Access to Insight

The straightforward exploration tools I designed allow anyone to identify patterns, trends, and correlations in the data that may reveal new insights and point to new areas of interest for further investigation. These explorations can then be shared and discussed within the City Forward Community and beyond – wherever people gather to exchange ideas about cities.

Data Integration & Accessibility

CityForward consolidated a wide range of urban data, including education, safety, health, and transportation statistics. By aggregating data that was previously dispersed across various government websites and formats, the platform made it easier for users to explore and utilize urban data.

A global community of shared insights into city data

The site enabled users to explore city data, create visualizations, and share insights within a community of users. This collaborative approach encouraged the exchange of ideas and solutions for urban challenges.

Empowerment through storytelling

By allowing users to build and share stories based on city data, CityForward emphasized the power of narrative in understanding and addressing urban issues. The platform provided tools for users to craft compelling narratives that could influence policy and public perception.

Global reach and accessibility

As a free-to-use platform, CityForward democratized access to urban data, enabling a wide audience to engage with the material. This inclusivity broadened the potential for innovation and community action on a global scale.

Technology as a catalyst for change

Reflecting on President Obama’s call for technological solutions to real-world problems, CityForward exemplified how digital platforms can bridge the gap between data availability and practical application. The platform highlighted the role of technology in enhancing civic engagement and urban governance.

Impact on urban analysis

CityForward empowered users to uncover patterns and trends within cities, offering new perspectives on urban development and policy. The platform supported smarter city planning and management by making urban data more navigable and actionable.

The power of easy access to insight

CityForward demonstrated the potential of digital platforms to transform urban analysis and planning. By providing comprehensive data access and interactive tools for exploration and storytelling, CityForward enabled users to engage deeply with the challenges and opportunities of urban living, fostering a smarter approach to city governance and community involvement.

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