Written in collaboration with Nikitas Magel

Residents of low-income communities throughout the U.S. have a long history of suffering from exposure to toxic chemicals and poor quality air, leading to disproportionately high rates of asthma, birth defects, cancer, and more. To a large degree, this is the direct result of generations of exclusionary and discriminatory land-use practices that have situated industrial sites and pollution emitters in close proximity to homes, schools, playgrounds, and other public facilities within these communities.

In California, as a step toward addressing historical and ongoing environmental injustices, Senate Bill 1000 (“The Planning for Healthy Communities Act”)…


The Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database details in-depth information for nearly all of the electric power generated in the U.S.

Written in collaboration with Joe Huang

Developed by the EPA, the Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) details in-depth information for nearly all of the electric power generated in the U.S. The dataset includes insights on power generation capacity, fuel used, emission rates for CO₂ equivalents (as well as other particulate emissions), and several other attributes for power plants across the country. As part of the UrbanFootprint Data Library, it’s easier than ever to map and understand the source of electricity in your community.

For planners, this is an important step in climate action planning and evaluating risk and…


How does zoning policy impact your city? We supported a recent New York Times’ study examining the extent of detached single-family zoning in cities across the U.S. The data behind this analysis is available out-of-the-box in UrbanFootprint. In this post, we’ll show you how to quickly get up and running in UrbanFootprint to do a zoning analysis for a city of your choosing.

Create a project for any U.S. location

If you’ve never used UrbanFootprint before, you can start by creating a free, seven-day trial.

Once we’re in the app, click the “Create Project” button to quickly start a project anywhere in the United States. For this example, we’ll look at Salt Lake City.

Map and explore the zoning data

Next, we’ll go to the Layer Manager to see if UrbanFootprint already has zoning data available for our project area. UrbanFootprint comes preloaded with hundreds of useful reference datasets, including zoning data for major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more.

While UrbanFootprint already has the zoning data for our Salt Lake City example…


With over 8,700 census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones, communities nationwide are working to better understand the impacts of the policy and potential new developments in these areas. Learn how to map Opportunity Zones in your area.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2017 created ‘Opportunity Zones’ as a way to steer private sector investment into disadvantaged, and often overlooked, parts of American communities. The bill incentivizes projects in Opportunity Zones by offering tax breaks on investments, with greater tax breaks associated with longer investment timeframes. The bill directed each state to identify census tracts that would qualify, resulting in over 8,700 Opportunity Zones nationwide as displayed in the map below.

Opportunity Zone data is available out-of-the-box with UrbanFootprint, making it easier than ever to locate and analyze these areas in your community.

Kelan Stoy

Data scientist, urban planner, and map-maker at @ufplatform

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