Arlington Recognized Nationally for Being One of the Best American Cities at Using Data and Evidence to Respond Effectively to Local Challenges
By Office of Communication
Posted on June 29, 2020, June 29, 2020

Arlington is one of eight cities to have ever achieved Certification at the gold level and it is the only city in Texas to have achieved this certification at any level.

Arlington is proud to share it has been recognized for achieving 2020 What Works Cities Certification at the gold level. What Works Cities (WWC) Certification evaluates how effectively cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making -- whether they have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making -- against a national standard of excellence. WWC is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015.

Arlington is one of eight cities to have ever achieved Certification at the gold level and it is the only city in Texas to have achieved this certification at any level. Over the past year, the City has demonstrated measurable progress on foundational data practices, representing our commitment to advancing how data is used to better serve those who live, work, play and learn here.

“Since achieving Silver Certification in 2019, we have been working tirelessly to build upon our city’s record when it comes to transparency and putting data and evidence at the center of our-decision making,” City Manager Trey Yelverton said. “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.”

Data is behind the City’s decisions both large and small – from tracking which books and materials library patrons check out the most to help guide future investments in the library’s collection all the way to high-tech scans of streets and sanitary sewer mains to prioritize the most critical repairs.

We also believe our community is strongest when we engage and empower residents as part of our quest to put technology to work. That’s why Arlington is proud of the data engagement opportunities it offers, which include:

  • The Your City at Work performance dashboard to further allow residents to see their tax dollars at work. Grouped by City Council Priorities and Core Services the dashboard displays real-time data on city programs and service performance measures on city services, from police and fire response times to how much residential recycling is collected each month.
  • The informative Know Your H20 website and digital alert features to help residents understand how to view their water billing history and monitor their consumption to better control their water usage and avoid utility bill surprises. In addition, this past August, we updated our communication methods for customers facing disconnections due to delinquency within 24 hours, a change which has seen the number of disconnections due to delinquency reduced by an average of 17 percent from the previous year.
  • The Office of Communication’s Budget in Action campaign, which strives to make the City’s operating budget relatable and to help residents better understand the value of city services provided. This annual campaign includes easy-to-understand breakdowns of the operating budget through infographics, and social media posts, web articles, and an engaging video that demonstrating the value of tax-payer dollars at work.
  • Arlington also continues to share relevant information to the public by publishing new datasets to Open Arlington and developing interactive web maps and dashboards.

What Works Cities Certification is inspiring a movement of cities that are doubling down on their commitment to building a more effective, more efficient, and more equitable local government that works for its residents, and using Certification as a roadmap for doing so. Nearly 200 U.S. cities have completed a What Works Cities Assessment; to date, only 24 cities have met the What Works Cities national standard in achieving Certification.

About What Works Cities:

What Work Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, is a national initiative that helps cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. It is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. 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. Cities in the What Works Cities network also gain access to a collaborative network of peers in cities across the country. For more information, visit

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