Regional Parks and the American Community Survey

Liz Roten for Metropolitan Council, 2021


In May 2019, I completed an R Shiny app visualizing regional parks and trails in context with American Community Survey (ACS) demographic data. The project’s first iteration was built as a mini-app to be used in workshop sessions with regional parks implementing agencies. Later, I re-structured the backend to follow the {golem} framework

Regional Parks and the American Community Survey is a mini-app designed for use by Regional Parks implementing agencies to assist in their progressing toward a more equitable use of regional parks. The app complements the Regional Parks Equity Toolkit, a set of questions and a process to clarify how regional park projects are advancing equity. The app facilitates direct examination of regional parks and trails system and the demographic characteristics of the census tracts surrounding them.

New developments

After I transitioned to my split between Community Development (CD) and Metropolitan Transportation Services (MTS) divisions, another team member took the project on. I supported that person in building skills in {shiny} and {golem}. I also used GitHub to manage app enhancements and document workflow.

Now, the app boasts a sophisticated modeling component, estimating the demographic characteristics of populations within a given distance, or buffer, around the park or trail. We expect the update to roll out around Q2 2021.

Liz Roten
Liz Roten
Data Scientist & Cartographer

My favorite food is eggplant.