Arlington is one of six U.S. cities to achieve the gold level of the 2020 What Works Cities Certification, according to a city news release Monday.
In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the What Works Cities national initiative. The certification evaluates how effectively city leaders include data and evidence in their decision-making, and how this correlates to managing.
Arlington is the only Texas city to achieve this certification at any level, and only 24 cities have met the national certification standard.
In 2019, the city achieved the silver level and demonstrated how data improves “those who live, work, play and learn here.”
“We are thrilled to be leveling up to the Gold Certification this year, and we remain committed to continue investing in technology, processes and policies that create a stronger, smarter local government for our residents and businesses,” city manager Trey Yelverton said.
The news release states that data contributes to large and small decisions, including the tracking of books and materials that library patrons check out “to help guide future investments in the library’s collection” and the scanning of sewers and streets to determine areas that need critical repair.
The city of Arlington has improved data engagement through the Your City at Work performance dashboard, which allows residents to see their tax dollars “at work,” and the Know Your H20 website, where residents can view their water billing history and monitor consumption.
“Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving technical assistance, guidance and resources to succeed in making more informed decisions, tackling local challenges, and delivering more effective services and programs for their residents,” the news release stated.