Define Your Neighborhood

 

There are so many ways to define neighborhoods it can be a little overwhelming. The feeling of being part of a community of neighbors or the places a person visits on a regular basis can create a sense of “neighborhood” for many of us. When it comes to data, there are a handful of neighborhood boundaries that we can use to track changes over time with some degree of consistency. For example, dividing Detroit into census tracts, we have 297 relatively stable places with a large amount of data available over time.

Neighborhoods Matter

Opportunity Atlas

The Opportunity Atlas answers questions about how childhood neighborhoods impact individuals’ futures using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s. Now you can trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up. See where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

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NNIP

The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building. Visit to learn more about organizations across the country making an impact on neighborhood research.

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Featured Project

Turning the Corner

This project explores new methods of tracking neighborhood change closer to real time, understanding how people feel about it, and providing the information to people who can actually do something about it.

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News

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What Are We Missing?

Lived Experience

Understanding how residents are experiencing their neighborhoods can add nuance to knowledge from more traditional sources of data. For example, if the data shows there are plenty of new restaurants in an area, but the nearby residents don’t feel comfortable dining in them, this is information the business owners might want to know and act on.

Funding

Public and private investments in neighborhoods can cause dramatic changes in those neighborhoods. Our current understanding of the funding landscape is spotty at best.

Migration Patterns

Knowing who is moving out of a neighborhood and where they are moving to is kind of like the holy grail of understanding changing neighborhoods. Information like this could provide early insight into neighborhoods that might need additional support to avoid hitting a tipping point into instability.

Business Locations

Types of businesses, how many workers are at each location, a sense of how much business is being done – all of this would be helpful to understand what is happening in neighborhoods. Business data could be made available by the state, but instead most people rely on expensive third-party sources that we’ve found to be flawed on closer inspection.

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