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Fairfax County launches online data platform to track Tysons evolution

Members of the public can now follow Tysons’ transformation from office hub to “America’s next great city” from their laptop.

Fairfax County has repackaged its annual report on the implementation of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan into an online, interactive development data platform called the Tysons Tracker.

Already live, the tracker contains information about land use, transportation, parks, and other topics that has traditionally been delivered in a 200-page, print document given to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors every year since the comprehensive plan was adopted in 2010.

In addition to making data on Tysons more accessible, the move is a cost-saving measure as the report historically cost $1,800 a year to print, says Suzie Battista, the urban centers section chief for Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development.

“With the 10-year mark of plan adoption, there was interest from county leadership to revisit how reporting is done to better utilize available technology and to increase public accessibility and usability of Tysons land use data,” Battista told the Board of Supervisors during a land use policy committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday).

Building off a similar project for Reston, this is the first phase of a multi-year rollout for the platform. County staff say they will continue to increase functionality and integrate additional data into the tracker over the next year.

A conceptual land use map for Tysons from the Tysons Tracker (via Fairfax County)

The platform was developed by the county’s planning department in coordination with transportation, land development, housing, schools, and park authority staff, according to Battista.

Highlights of the tracker include a language translation function that accommodates over 100 languages, an ability to directly share information on social media, and PDFs of the data that can be made available by request.

Each section has unique features, from links to in-progress zoning applications and a “grid of streets” map to an interactive land use map that lets users see conceptual development plans overlaid with a current map of developments in Tysons.

The tracker also provides updates on notable projects, such as the ongoing construction of the I-495 pedestrian bridge, the completion of Scott’s Run Trail, and the county’s planned Capital BikeShare expansion.

The tracker will be updated annually, but Battista added that county staff will be working on adding functionality to make it more accessible over the next year.

The county planning department maintains that it will still present an annual status report to the Board of Supervisors.

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