How do local governments decide where to invest public funds? Better yet, how can local governments help ensure that these investments are distributed to projects in an equitable manner? Unfortunately, there is no single, easy answer.
However, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has created an interactive equity analysis tool to help address these questions. In the past, the ARC used a static map of their Equitable Target Areas (ETA) for project evaluation. The ETA index was a tool that helped ARC better identify areas with minority or low-income populations to understand how proposed projects might impact these groups.
Now, Atlanta Regional Commission has created a transportation data platform called DASH where a more nuanced equity analysis can be visualized. This equity analysis helps ARC understand where people reside across all nine of the federally protected classes. Coming soon, there will be transportation data added to DASH. Combined with the data already included, the equity analysis provided by DASH will help guide regional transportation and land use planning and will be used as input for project prioritization and evaluation, monitoring resource allocation, and assisting in decision-making.