OMAHA, Neb. — The latest installation in HDR’s Experts Talk series features strategic communications professionals Chelsea Collinge and Sabrina Colón explaining how data-informed engagement can help create more equitable infrastructure.

Data-informed engagement, which combines the expertise of communications professionals and geospatial experts, uses readily available, public data to inform and enhance community engagement. The result is an approach that improves understanding of a community and leads to more informed planning and design.

“By leveraging a broad range of interactive, publicly available geospatial datasets, we can shed light on those who are traditionally left out — whether that’s because of their age, income, language barriers or other conditions,” Collinge said.

Collinge, a senior strategic communications coordinator, and Colón, HDR’s South Atlantic strategic communications lead, use these strategies daily as they lead public engagement efforts for transportation infrastructure projects.

“What our teams offer is not just collection, but expertise in interpreting this data and working with a community to analyze its implications for a region and specific projects,” said Colón. “It’s not always quick and easy. But the payoff is impactful, valuable projects that best serve and are embraced by their communities.”

Read more in the whole Data-Informed Equitable Engagement interview.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.