Skip to Main Content

PlanRVA’s data team calculates region’s key metrics 


PlanRVA is making a comprehensive commitment to acquiring and analyzing data – to create a foundational, empirical understanding of what drives many of the region’s most-pressing issues. Those underlying metrics often hold the key to gleaning greater insight into both the causes of and solutions for our region’s challenges.  

Toward that end, PlanRVA’s data capabilities run the gamut. It collects demographic, economic, and geographic information system (GIS) data from various sources and then delivers those figures in a customized way in the form of maps, charts, tables, and reports to locality departments upon request. Not only are the topics of the research varied – covering PlanRVA’s core focus areas (community development/housing, transportation, and environmental issues) – but the team works with data at various geographic levels addressing topics such as education, healthcare, and workforce. For example, it tracks region-wide trends, comparing the data with national trends, and measures indicators at the locality level, which enables it to understand how one jurisdiction differs from another.

The data team also collects census tract-level data, enabling it to identify specific neighborhoods in the region that are most impacted. 

“By analyzing a range of data, we can supply local governments with critical information as they make future-focused decisions,” says Sarin Adhikari, PlanRVA’s Principal Data Manager.  

Sarin Adhikari, Principal Data Manage at PlanRVA
Sarin Adhikari, Principal Data Manage at PlanRVA

Providing Technical Support for Housing Equity 

PlanRVA’s data collection team also provides technical support for various regional initiatives. It is responsible, for example, for sourcing data for a grant program designed to expand homeownership to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), including Hispanic, and other historically underserved communities. Called Wealth Opportunities Realized Through Homeownership, the WORTH program operates in the Richmond region through a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. Managed by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), its goal is to create 5,000 new homeowners by the end of 2025.  

Determining need and measuring progress starts with collecting data, and PlanRVA sources data from the collaborating partners that are part of the program. That includes agencies that are providing homeowner education and others who are helping BIPOC families secure home loans. There are also partners who are actively engaged in developing affordable housing in the region. PlanRVA analyzes data collected and reports findings and conclusions periodically to the Wells Fargo Foundation. Data is collected and tracked over time to make sure goals for the region are met. PlanRVA’s data collection team also maintains a dashboard that updates the collaborative partners on activities, achievements, and goals.  

In a similar vein, PlanRVA is part of the Regional Collaborative for Upward Mobility Framework, an alliance that includes the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, the Partnership for Housing Affordability, and ChamberRVA. The data team tracks metrics and indicators related to neighborhood opportunity, education, workforce, accessibility, access to good health care, and regional economy, and then presents findings in a data dashboard to help the Upward Mobility Team more easily visualize the key indicators. The team also develops indices based on the focus areas identified by the framework.   

Also of note is the fact that the data team is responsible for the Parcel Based Land Use database, which it maintains for the entire region (with help from local planning departments). The metrics from this database are useful in understanding the density of housing developments, which is an important consideration as it relates to existing job centers.  

As in other areas, by collecting and presenting critical data elements, PlanRVA provides policymakers with the relevant information they need to make informed decisions about a range of issues.  

Elevate your community's decision-making prowess by tapping into PlanRVA’s comprehensive data services, empowering informed policy-making and strategic planning for a brighter and more resilient future.  

For more information, please reach out to Dr. Sarin Adhikari, Principal Data Manager, PlanRVA at 

Subscribe to The Better Together Connector

Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter to highlight the latest efforts, successes and a look ahead from PlanRVA, the Central Virginia Transportation Authority (CVTA), the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO) and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia (EMACV).

* indicates required