Background

The Denver Regional Equity Atlas is a tool to help raise awareness among a wide range of stakeholders about the benefits and opportunities that a robust public transportation network can create. This interactive tool provides users with the ability to create maps that depict the region’s major origins and destinations in relation to the current and future transit network, and also generate reports on demographic, economic and other data of the region or particular communities. The Atlas emphasizes the need to ensure access to opportunity for everyone in the region, especially improving connections for the region’s most economically disadvantaged residents. The future transit network will better connect people to jobs, healthcare providers, schools, grocery stores, parks and other essential destinations, but there are challenges in ensuring that the people who use and need access to public transportation the most have the opportunity to live, work, learn and play in transit-oriented communities.

The first phase of the Equity Atlas was completed in April 2012 and is available on the Mile High Connects website. This static document captures a snapshot of the region at one point in time (2011). The Equity Atlas is being used by practitioners and community members alike as a tool to explore the relationship between different issue areas (housing, education, jobs and health), guiding investment decisions, grant making and community outreach. The Atlas has received national attention for its innovative approach to visually representing the region’s opportunities and challenges in relation to transit, and several other regions are now considering developing their own equity atlases.

Registered users can view, create, save, and share maps here.

Topic Areas

The following five topics form the organizational structure for the atlas:
  1. Population and Demographic Characteristics of the Region
  2. Access to Affordable, Quality Housing Options
  3. Access to Jobs and Economic Development Opportunities
  4. Access to Educational Opportunities
  5. Access to Health Care, Healthy Foods, and Recreational Facilities
Data was collected from a variety of sources for seven counties in the Metro Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. Geographic information system (GIS) software was then used to spatially analyze the data and produce maps for each topical area. Each map contains the current and future transit network, including high frequency bus routes and rail lines, as the base map.

Funding

Funding for the interactive version of the Denver Regional Equity Atlas is provided from DRCOG’s Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI). The original version was funded by Mile High Connects philanthropic partners.

Contact

If you have questions pertaining to the data sourced for the REA or would like to request a download please contact the Colorado Data Engine.

For all other inquries, comments, or suggestions concerning the REA site functionality and user experience please email us at support@drcog.org.

Audience

The primary audience for this tool is service providers, researchers without the resources of a professional; and community groups needing to advocate for equity on their own behalf. It is assumed that the user has familiarity with transit, housing, economic development, public health, education and other subject matter involving local and regional planning.

Contributors

The following organizations have contributed to the planning, design, development, testing, and data sourcing of this product:

Colorado Data Engine

Colorado Data Engine is an open source hub that unlocks neighborhood scale public data in a standardized, geolocated format. You can download data sets, upload your own data, and create your own applications for the common good. By bringing together various public information sources for the first time in one, convenient on-line location, Data Engine puts the power of information to work for those who can advance change. The Data Engine is a collaborative effort of funders, data experts, journalists and technology experts each with firsthand knowledge of the impact data can have when leveraged as a tool to build understanding and direct action. Through the use of a free, open source platform, Data Engine unleashes the power of public data to advance positive community change by putting data in the hands of people who can affect change.

Denver Regional Council of Governments

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), a nonprofit association of local governments, is dedicated to making the nine-county Denver region a great place to live, work and play. In its sixth decade of regional service, DRCOG is proud of its focus on quality-of-life issues. These include mobility, planning for the future, service to older adults, environmental concerns, and the provision of information for sound decision-making.

Mile High Connects

Mile High Connects is a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors that are committed to increasing access to housing choices, good jobs, quality schools and essential services via public transit. Their collaborative mission is to ensure that the Metro Denver regional transit system fosters communities that offer all residents the opportunity for a high quality of life. By working collaboratively to increase resources, influence policy, work with residents and leverage the current and expanding Metro Denver transit system, Mile High Connects is using transit to promote a vital region full of opportunity for everyone. Staff from Reconnecting America and the Piton Foundation represent Mile High Connects on the Regional Equity Atlas project.

Help

Video Tutorials


Basic Overview and Site Navigation




Registering With The Regional Equity Atlas




Navigating The Map




Charts and Statistics