Winston-Salem is one of 100 cities taking part in a project launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies. It's called What Works Cities, and it uses data to improve municipal services.

The idea is that with better information, Winston-Salem may be able to apply what they learn to the six focus areas in the City Council's strategic plan.

One of those focuses is nurturing livable neighborhoods. And data could help in deciding how resources are used to address blight, code enforcement and recreation projects.

The four-month program aims to make government more transparent and accountable by making information easily understandable for residents. It also could help the city to keep better tabs on its priorities.

Winston-Salem was selected for the free What Works Cities program after an application and visit from the organization. Mayor Allen Joines is calling it a “feather in the city's cap that will benefit all city residents.”

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