Track Housing Affordability, Police Stats on Seattle’s New Public Data Portal

Ellen Glover
December 12, 2019
City of Seattle Launches New Data Portal
Courtesy of ShutterStock

This week, the City of Seattle has unveiled Performance Seattle: a website where residents and government employees can see how well their city is performing.

The site houses seven dashboards, tracking the city’s performance on everything from basic services to housing affordability to homelessness. It illustrates the city’s progress with data visualizations like graphs, maps and charts as well as written reports.

While all this information was publicly accessible before, the new site brings it all to one place.

The launch of Performance Seattle comes amid months of criticism of the ways the city has handled the housing and transit crises associated with its rapid ascent to being one of the biggest tech hubs in the country. 

Taking inspiration from cities like Boston and Chicago, which both launched similar portals in 2017, this site was created to make sure the city gets things done. According to a recent press release, Performance Seattle will ensure that the city meets specific goals, like its commitment to repair 80 percent of potholes in 30 days and have the police department respond to 100 percent of its Priority 1 calls. It’s centered around accountability.

“Understanding and leveraging the data that cities like Seattle generate every day is a vital challenge — it will enable us to be accountable, improve services and generate better outcomes for everyone,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan in a statement. “We are showing how we are improving access to frequent transit, building affordable housing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, meeting targets in our delivery of basic City services and increasing people’ access to critical services and supports.”

This launch is a product of months of work by the Seattle Innovation and Performance team and was developed in collaboration with more than 150 city staff. The city has also been working with Results for America and What Works Cities, which recognized the city for its use of data in city government.

Right now, the site is in a “soft launch,” according to a press release. In the meantime, the Innovation and Performance team will be gathering feedback on the site and encourage Seattle residents to voice their opinions

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