Before embarking on research of this scale, graduate students, under the direction of research chair Katherine Lieberknecht, spent several months meeting with city and county officials around central Texas. Their goal was to find out what information these agencies already have access to, what models and platforms they currently use, and what kinds of new data they still need that would help them make better, more informed decisions.

The team has also surveyed local stakeholders — from businesses to nonprofits — to learn what their needs are and how Planet Texas 2050 can help.