Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are important planning tools. As part of our continuing effort to support planning and improve decision-making, DVRPC has developed several interactive mapping applications. Mapping applications allow DVRPC to present to or collect geospatial information from the public without the need of special GIS software. Nearly all of DVRPC's projects incorporate GIS technology, whether it is for data collection, storage, analysis, or presentation.
DVRPC's Data Navigator is a one-stop data repository for all geographically-based Census and DVRPC data. Regional, County, Municipal (and even some Census Tract) data for various subject matters are viewable online and downloadable.
The Community Investment Index (CI2) maps the concentrations of recent place-based investments and on-the-ground features that contribute to sustainable communities across southeastern Pennsylvania. Using mapping of nearly 100 types of investments and other datasets, this tool presents composite "heat map" datasets for seven topic areas such as economic development, transportation, environment, housing, planning activities, and more.
The goal of this program is to better equip municipalities to implement The Long-Range Plan through Smart Growth plans and policies. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, planning and zoning authority is delegated exclusively to local governments; the region's county governments (with the exception of Philadelphia, which is both a city and a county) have no land use power, which makes implementation of regional goals challenging.
Governments that share services have lower per capita expenses than those that do not and this effect is most pronounced in suburban communities. In the DVRPC region, there are many examples of service sharing; it has been embraced by members of both political parties as a fiscally responsible method of service delivery. While there are differing definitions of what constitutes shared services, DVRPC defines them as those provided by or received by more than one municipality.
DVRPC offers open space and natural resource planning services to New Jersey municipalities and counties to help them identify the current state of their natural resources, articulate their vision for future stewardship and preservation, and develop specific planning tools to achieve that vision. All planning services are subsidized by DVRPC to reduce expenses to municipalities.