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Investors back UrbanFootprint to address planners’ ‘urgent need’

UrbanFootprint, the location intelligence and urban planning software used by Aecom and the city of San Diego, has raised $11.5m to advance its offerings and grow its customer base of cities, urban planners, and companies across the energy, mobility, and real estate sectors. Joining early investor Social Capital, Valo Ventures led this round of financing, alongside continued investment from Social Capital and new partner Radicle Impact.

Joe DiStefano, CEO of UrbanFootprint, said: “Businesses across every major industry are realising that to succeed in cities, you need to understand them. By creating easy access to essential planning data and analyses, UrbanFootprint offers a new solution for anyone focused on cities or urban markets to build more efficiently and sustainably.”

UrbanFootprint enables clients to understand where people live, work, and commute, zoning, physical and environmental conditions, infrastructure and more. Combining data, analysis, and advanced scenario planning, UrbanFootprint claims it “dramatically improves the toolset available to cities and urban planners to design more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities.”

Jay Zaveri, partner at investor Social Capital, said: “Cities are superstructures for culture, lifestyles, aspirations, and wellbeing – the real ‘social networks’ in our lives.

“Since 2018, UrbanFootprint has helped private and civic planners, mobility and energy companies execute nearly 4,000 projects in over 700 cities in the US, providing answers for complex scenarios in a matter of hours. This is a phenomenal effort as we move to seven billion urban citizens by 2050, with the urgent need of this decade being resilience and preparedness for urban systems.”

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Compared to traditional urban planning tools that are siloed, costly and time-consuming, UrbanFootprint says it streamlines the process through a single collaborative platform that makes it easy to map and evaluate existing conditions, build and test future scenarios, and analyse an unprecedented array of relevant impacts. The platform serves up thousands of essential data sets covering land use and real estate, transportation systems, environmental resources, climate and hazard risks, health, and socio-demographic characteristics. Models track scenario performance in real-time and the industry’s most advanced user interface enables planners and enterprises to search and evaluate nearly all US locations with ease.

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