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Created: Thursday, August 19, 2021 | Updated: Friday, August 20, 2021

The Atlas case studies are organized so local government leaders can easily sort through content based on their interests and priorities.

Check out these recent case studies from the “Challenges” categories on The Atlas!


Photo of The Atlas case study database and Challenge categories
Local government readers can sort through The Atlas case studies based on “Challenges” categories pertaining to their scopes of work.


Rotterdam, Netherlands – 90% the city is below sea level, making it particularly vulnerable to flooding. Rotterdam built a three-story underground parking garage that also serves as an underground water reservoir.

Essential Services

Seattle, WA – Seattle has more than 5,000 restaurants and food service establishments. Seattle Public Utilities needed to better manage their FOG program and inspections, ultimately driving a 316% increase in field efficiency.

Systemic Stressors

Portland, OR – Instead of building 3,000 units of affordable housing for an estimated $1B, Portland developed a program to use the estimated 1 million empty rooms in Oregon to provide affordable housing options, while generating income for homeowners.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction

La Mesa, CA – The city created an urban forest and shade tree program to reduce greenhouse gases, beautify neighborhoods, and create an urban forestry management plan.

Citizen Engagement

London, UK – Newham, the third most populous district in London, launched the Queen’s Market Good Growth Programme – a £4.1 million project aimed at including residents in urban planning decisions. The program sought input on shared spaces, town centers, high streets, and new council homes.


Los Angeles, CA – The city coordinated a shared mobility advisory group of over 40 transportation experts and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) leaders to create a vision for shared mobility to address existing gaps in transportation access and financial feasibility.

Natural Disasters

Yarnell, AZ – The 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire burned over 8,300 acres of land, took 12 days to contain, and ultimately cost 19 local firefighters their lives. When the small, unincorporated community of Yavapai County did not qualify for FEMA funding, a resident volunteer group (with assistance from the state) funded the rebuilding of homes and drove recovery progress.

Network Threats

West Allis, WI – Each department in the city was running on its own separate, siloed IT system and therefore had no dedicated IT staff. They experienced tremendous workflow inefficiencies and adopted an integrated IT system to deliver multiple city services across departments.

Digital Government

Pierce County, WA – In recent years, the Puget Sound region was welcoming up to 200 people a day during the Seattle hiring boom. The county streamlined their water quality monitoring program data to efficiently use the information for public safety, engagement and water regulation.

Economic Development

Forest Lake, MN – The water district partnered with a local high school to build a new stormwater basin on campus that filtered and treated stormwater. Further, the program incorporated reuse technology and water conservation concepts into biology, agriculture and earth science courses.

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