Straatvinken initiative

How Straatvinken is using dataviz to improve our environment.
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Challenge 

Traffic is increasing every year, with trends continuing to rise, so much so that many cities around the world are actively working to take steps to reverse the problem. Here in Belgium goals have been set for a more environmentally-friendly traffic mix by 2030 and in order to achieve the goal a 2-3% shift needs to occur each year.

Solution 

To ensure steady improvement, a solid understanding and regular monitoring of the transport modes that make up the roads needs to occur. To help city officials see exactly what challenges they face, and monitor changes going forward, a request was made for citizens to measure the traffic mix in their street on a nominated date and time. This data is then analysed and populated into a tailor-made online platform available for all to engage with. We ensured the right balance of detail is presented in order to be useful and actionable - too much and the message does not get through, too little and there is nothing compelling to tell.

Value

Publishing and making the results accessible is important, it humanises the data and means that everyone can explore and intereact with the results for themselves rather than remaining in the hands of only a few. Allowing public access means it is something for everyone to own, providing progress, highlighting the good and not-so-good areas, as well as context to the issue so that collective responsibility and shared understanding can occur. By communicating and telling the story of the data, change in the form of transport improvements can take place.

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