By Data-Smart City Solutions • February 5, 2021

BLOOMBERG CITIES: VACCINE DATA TO WATCH

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors just released a new toolkit for COVID-19 vaccinations that outlines the role of mayors in distributing vaccines in an ethical and safe way. This module focuses on the role of data and monitoring strategies, while the others cover community engagement and steps for mayors. 

 

STATE SCOOP: MIAMI'S NEW DIGITAL TOOL LETS PEOPLE START BUSINESSES FROM A MOBILE PHONE 

In Miami, new business owners no longer have to endure the months-long process of in-person permitting and applications in order to found a new business. The city’s eStart initiative launched in January 2021 and is an all-digital tool that helps current and future business owners do things like apply for licenses and fill out zoning compliance forms. Users can do all of this from their phones, streamlining the process for business owners and government offices that usually dealt with duplicative forms.

 

GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON: A NEW WAY TO VISUALIZE TRAFFIC CRASHES IN DC 

Washington, D.C.’s Vision Zero initiative just took a big step toward transparency and community engagement by releasing an interactive data portal to the public. None of this data is new, as it was all technically available to residents before the portal launched last week. But, the user-friendly visualization tool better engages the community, and helps officials work with residents to “identify and fix traffic crash hot spots.”

 

NPR: EARLY DATA SHOWS STRIKING RACIAL DISPARITIES IN WHO'S GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINE 

New data is showing an unfortunate trend of racial inequality among vaccine recipients. Although this is early data, and likely not complete, there is still a shocking discrepancy, with disproportionately fewer Black and Hispanic people being vaccinated. Considering the disproportionate rates of infection among these same populations, officials must consider this data "early warning flags about potential racial disparities in access to and uptake of the vaccine.” 

 

CITY LAB: WHY IS IT SO HARD TO COLLECT GOOD EVICTION DATA? 

There has been a national eviction crisis in the U.S. for a long time, but the COVID-19 pandemic heightened awareness and motivated emergency action. However, without solid, reliable eviction data that is easily understandable, cities will continue to make policy decisions without accurate information, which could very likely hurt more than help. Building a comprehensive eviction database should be a priority for all city officials.