How the City of Greensboro is Using Data-Driven Storytelling to Engage Residents in Comprehensive Planning

City comprehensive plans provide a long-term roadmap for the future development of a community.  Most planning processes include an analysis of the current state of the community—as the old saying goes “you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you have been.”  And for most cities, creating their long term comprehensive plan is an opportunity to bring residents together to imagine the future of their shared community. Greensboro, NC is going one step further and bringing these two steps together, by engaging residents in the results of the existing conditions studies so that residents can participate in voicing their community vision with an informed understanding of opportunities and challenges in the city today.

How is the city building an informed, engaged citizenship?

The City has conducted an extensive, in-depth analysis of their community—from economics and infrastructure, to the changing demographics of the Greensboro population. The City recently published their analysis results in an interactive dashboard that highlights key themes found in the studies, and encourages residents to imagine how they’d like the city to respond to major trends. The highlight below, pulled from their dashboard and chosen as mySidewalk’s Map of the Week, tells the story of growing momentum for Greensboro’s Downtown.

To learn more about how Greensboro is using interactive dashboards in their comprehensive planning process, see the Greensboro Comprehensive Plan Dashboard.


mySidewalk is a city intelligence tool that makes it simple to track, analyze, and communicate progress on citywide goals using data. To learn more about how you can build dashboards, just like this one, using pre-loaded data available in the mySidewalk tool or by uploading data from your local community, visit the mySidewalk website. You work hard for your data. What's it doing for you?