Reflecting on 2022 – UrbanFootprint’s Year in Review

01.03.2023 | Joe DiStefano

2022 has been a big year at UrbanFootprint as we made great strides toward our mission to Build Resilience! Over the past 12 months we have expanded our Platform to better serve leading government agencies, energy utilities, financial institutions, and major consultants with our comprehensive suite of data insights. These insights drive critical decision making in the face of increasing climate threats, community vulnerability, and regulatory complexity.

Below are ten highlights from the year that represent the progress we have made as a company. As we enter 2023, we are excited to see what we will accomplish over the next twelve months and the impact we will be able to make in building resilience.

1. We extended our foundation

Our Base Canvas grew to cover 99% of the United States this year, further establishing it as the most comprehensive land use data source available anywhere, and a foundational element of the UrbanFootprint Platform. The August and October 2022 updates were our most extensive enhancements to the Base Canvas to date. Now more than ever, users will be able to answer critical “where” questions for any place across the country and remain confident the answers are grounded in consistent data.

2. We went hyperlocal with pollution vulnerability

In partnership with Aclima, we brought the Community Impact and Investment Index to market to drive critical investments and mitigation efforts to protect frontline communities. We combined our unique data and modeling expertise to create this Index, the first-ever decision-support tool that combines hyperlocal air pollution and emissions data with key urban, community, and environmental justice indicators to help drive investments, interventions, and multi-benefit solutions across U.S. communities. We released the results from the first major application of the Community Impact and Investment Index in a San Francisco Bay Area analysis that reveals economic and racial disparities related to air pollution exposure.

3. We made it all happen with a growing team

The UrbanFootprint team welcomed plenty of new faces this year; nearly doubling in size, passion, and energy. We had the best time gathering to celebrate together at our first company offsite in July on the University of California, Berkeley campus. During the few days together we discussed our goals, aligned on vision, and enjoyed some casual social time together. The in person time was critical in supporting our culture and breaking down any collaboration barriers. We also gathered in small groups across the country for our first ever day of giving! Employees spent a day with a local charity planting gardens, clearing trash, packing food donations, and caring for animals in need.

4. We continued to deliver for our customers

One of UrbanFootprint’s pillars has always been our dedication to providing incredible customer service. This year we supported our government, energy, finance, and planning customers; responding to over 350 support conversations and assisting them in answering their most pressing questions. Our Customer Support, Success, and Solutions teams offer unmatched expertise and serve as an extension of our customers’ internal teams.

5. We employed data-driven insights to fight hunger in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) extended their work with UrbanFootprint to deploy our government Assist solution and leverage our Food Security Insights. Serving the communities in Louisiana is an ever-evolving challenge, as individuals move, their program eligibility status changes, and funding is often contingent on shifting political climates. Those challenges led to DCFS to leverage our powerful data insights to budget resources efficiently, distribute food benefits effectively, and engage communities that are most in need.

6. We got back on the road with Electric Vehicle Insights

Our greatest thrill was getting back on the road and meeting many of you in-person at events such as the E Source Forum, where we introduced our Electric Vehicle Insights solution to the market. America just crossed over the tipping point in EV adoption which is likely to drastically alter the kinds of vehicles on the roads. But the booming EV market leaves questions about where to best deploy EV infrastructure with equity and environmental justice in mind. Failing to accurately answer this question means failing to deliver on policy goals and funding requirements as well as the promise of low carbon transportation. That’s why our EV Insights aims to facilitate a deeper dive into effective siting decisions; incorporating key variables like income, transit access, existing infrastructure, existing charging stations, racial makeup, and hazard risk.

7. We joined forces for ESG intelligence

2022 brought us our first financial industry partner, Assured Guaranty. We’re working with Assured Guaranty to bring a data-centric approach for climate risk and social impact analysis to the municipal bond market. As the damaging effects of climate change continue to intensify, public finance investors are increasingly scrutinizing how rising threats such as extreme weather events contribute to risk levels and potential defaults. Our Municipal Bond Insights (MBI) product is now being used daily to evaluate municipal bond risk based on climate metrics, to support both single credit and portfolio-wide analysis and standardize and streamline ESG risk assessments.

8. We supported grid resilience with Duquesne Light Company

Duquesne Light Company partnered with UrbanFootprint this year to gain data insights for prioritizing energy investments in Pennsylvania in the face of growing climate threats and regulatory pressure. Leadership at DLC leverage Grid Resilience Insights to assess their infrastructure in the context of the community it serves and the surrounding environmental factors, all together from a holistic view. Knowing how these complex factors relate to each other informs DLC in making strategic decisions more effectively, communicating progress to stakeholders, and ultimately securing their buy-in.

9. We were recognized for our innovations

From being named as one of Time’s Best Inventions of 2022 for our Grid Resilience Insights to being included on the GovTech100 list, we are proud to have been recognized for our innovative solutions to complex and critical challenges. As we lean into some of the most critical challenges facing our country and society, urgency, creativity, and time-to-value is of the utmost importance. We are proud to be acknowledged for the important work our team is taking on across industries.

10. We raised significant capital to Build Resilience

2022 also brought us new investors and greater promise for our ability to Build Resilience with a $25 Million Series B. Our funding is all about scaling our growth into large enterprise sectors of the economy and in so doing dramatically scaling the impact that we can have. The UrbanFootprint location intelligence platform helps major institutions understand where they need to invest – to target investments that reduce climate risk and community vulnerability, and accelerate the transition to clean energy. We are thrilled to have added financial giant Citi (via their Citi Ventures and Sprint funds) as a partner, as well as top-notch European climate and urban tech funds 2150 VC and A/O Proptech. Our customer, municipal bond insurance giant Assured Guaranty also joined the team, as well as federal government specialist Dcode Capital. We could not have asked for a better cast to support the next major acceleration of UrbanFootprint’s impact journey.

Now, let’s see what 2023 has in store for UrbanFootprint…

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