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Smart Community Enhances Asset Management with Location Intelligence

The City of Gresham, Oregon, Implemented ArcGIS Enterprise and LucityAM to Improve Its Critical Public Service Infrastructure Data

Gresham, Oregon, which lies about 15 miles east of Portland, is the state’s fourth-largest city. While it’s a city that treasures its agricultural and homesteading history, the area is growing rapidly, and residents are passionate about building a smart community.

Part of this entails better managing critical public service infrastructure, which includes assets related to water, wastewater (collection and treatment), storm water, transportation, and parks services. These assets fall under several city departments, including environmental services, budget and financial planning, and innovation and information.

A screenshot of Lucity Web Map with streetlight data on it
The City of Gresham uses Lucity Web Map, part of LucityAM, to manage streetlight data.

To address this in the context of an expanding city, Gresham adopted a comprehensive asset management strategy as part of the Strategic Technology Plan it released in 2014. Two solutions eventually emerged that, together, serve as the core platform for implementing the plan: Esri’s ArcGIS Enterprise and LucityAM from Esri partner Lucity.

The primary goal was to gain a thorough understanding of the city’s assets with an eye toward managing them long term in a cost-effective way. With ArcGIS Enterprise, the city was able to create a location-based registry that now serves as the system of record for all of Gresham’s public service assets. This is linked to the LucityAM solutions platform, which is the system of record for asset maintenance. From there, the city has been able to build up an arsenal of GIS-based maps, apps, and dashboards that help staff streamline their workflows and improve efficiency.

Initial Challenges Elicit a GIS Road Map

While ArcGIS Enterprise is hosted on-premises, LucityAM is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that Gresham chose to host in a cloud environment. This posed challenges for integrating the two. It had the potential to limit the city’s ability to deliver maps and apps to field crews on their mobile devices and could have affected workflows that require recording field data simultaneously in the Lucity and ArcGIS environments.

To overcome these obstacles, the city’s GIS and IT teams developed a road map to modernize Gresham’s ArcGIS deployments. It involved implementing ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7, which would enable the city to better leverage capabilities such as field mobility, streamlined integrations, online (cloud) data management, web mapping, configurable out-of-the-box apps, and analytics.

A key part of this road map involved having the city link its GIS-managed asset registry with LucityAM, making this the standard model across the enterprise for managing asset data and engaging with location-centric information. This configuration ensures that quality-assured asset data comes from a single, authoritative source and is available to LucityAM. That way, the City of Gresham can confidently monitor asset conditions and any work or inspections being done on assets.

This setup allows users to make changes to asset records in the field using Lucity Mobile, a field app that’s integrated with Collector for ArcGIS. And the quality assurance process ensures that changes made in the field get reviewed by city staff before they’re included in the ArcGIS Enterprise-based asset inventory. From there, the GIS team can validate the city’s asset data based on crews’ field knowledge and then leverage ArcGIS technology to create maps, apps, and information products that enrich Gresham’s overall maintenance strategy.

A screenshot of Lucity Mobile showing a dashboard
With Lucity Mobile, which works with Collector for ArcGIS, field staff can now collect and record asset data in the field.

Several Ways to Think Strategically About Assets

Since going live with LucityAM a year ago, the City of Gresham has streamlined how it collects data in the field and manages it in the enterprise geodatabase. This has, in turn, made it easier for the city to take advantage of other Esri technology as well, including ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Collector for ArcGIS, Survey123 for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Insights, and Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS.

Now, for example, the city’s environmental services department uses Collector and Survey123 to gather storm water asset inspection data in the field, and the records are stored in feature layers hosted in ArcGIS Online. Members of this team then visualize the data using Operations Dashboard, which provides them all with a common operating picture and allows them to monitor asset inspections, confirm asset attributes, and ensure that field crews are doing proper asset maintenance.

In addition, the city’s GIS team now uses ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online to create maps and apps that help staff members and the community find and visualize information about street reconstruction projects, traffic counts, the city’s hydrant flushing program, and more. And field crews use Survey123 and Collector, rather than paper-based workflows, to validate asset locations and perform field inspections.

The GIS team also uses Insights to conduct various types of analyses that help city leaders make data-driven decisions. With its simple and dynamic maps, charts, and tables, Insights helps city managers and supervisors analyze asset and maintenance management data to improve asset performance. Insights helps the GIS team identify hot spots that might indicate critical failure points throughout the asset network and then put together state-of-the-art asset reports that city leaders can use to order targeted asset maintenance. This ensures that there is a clear line of sight between what the city invests in asset management and the community’s service-level expectations.

“The impact of ArcGIS tools combined with the Lucity platform on meeting the city’s objectives has been significant,” said Chris Strong, the City of Gresham’s transportation division manager. “We are starting to see greater efficiencies across our operations and an improved ability to think strategically about asset investments. It also is causing us to reexamine other business processes and workflows, which can promote better effectiveness in how we deliver services.”

More Accurate Data Leads to Lots of Improvements

The City of Gresham has realized a number of key benefits in using ArcGIS Enterprise and Lucity’s asset management solutions. They include the following:

A screenshot of a dashboard showing charts and a map related to asset maintenance
The city’s environmental services department uses Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS to monitor storm water assets and ensure that field crews are doing proper maintenance on them.

Effective Data Governance Produces a Smarter Community

Now that the City of Gresham has one system of record that streamlines its asset information and associated inventory and maintenance schedules, city staff can be assured that, no matter where or how they access the data, it is quality assured and authoritative. With the location intelligence capabilities of the ArcGIS platform working in step with the comprehensive tools of LucityAM, asset managers can ensure effective and efficient data governance. All this means that the City of Gresham can operate its critical public service assets at their lowest possible life cycle costs. That’s the way to build a smart community.

About the author

Raj Patil

Raj Patil is the director of strategic alliances and international business for Lucity, a Central Square Company.