Comparing How Representative Public Feedback is to the Community

Project Sponsor


Resident feedback is a core tool of municipalities, and is often a required step for projects large and small. Yet it isn’t always clear how representative of the “community” our respondents are. We aim to develop a comparative tool which allows policymakers to assess how responsive public feedback is to their community, at many scales.

Category: Urban Environment

Project Description & Overview

We’ll work with existing clients on how to create better respondent surveys, use real or proxy respondent data, create survey scenarios, identify and collect relevant data, and create a data tool which we can compare and contrast our respondents to our constructed community. The end deliverable should be a prototype tool which allows us to ingest resident data and compare this to the constructed community so we can quickly report out to clients/policymakers. Our focus will be on NYC and perhaps another, smaller jurisdictions outside the NYC region (pending agreements with other localities).


We aim to use publicly available data sources such as Census Data (ACS and decennial), NYC Open Data, GIS spatial mapping from NYC DoITT.


  • Spatial/GIS
  • User experience design
  • Software programming
  • Quantitative research/analysis
  • Background in public policy
  • Background dealing with personally identifiable information

Learning Outcomes & Deliverables

  1. Define best and safest practices on creating resident feedback data schema which protects the respondent from PII loss & balances giving policymakers precision on who they spoke with.
  2. Identifying, procuring, and arranging the most relevant open source geospatial/economic/resident data required to define community at many scales (lot, block, street, census tract, neighborhood, borough, city, MSA, region, etc)
  3. Defining, designing, and creating a digital tool which allows policymakers the ability too compare who they spoke with during a feedback session with the community (at many levels). This probably looks like a simple web app/dashboard