Civic News

City Council to use data, mapping to identify neighborhoods in need of help

The "Community Sustainability Initiative" will help Council decide how to distribute city resources.

City Council is turning to data and mapping analysis to determine which neighborhoods need the most help, it announced yesterday. Council will use its findings to determine where government support should go.

It’s contracting with The Reinvestment Fund and Econsult Solutions and using a mix of city, federal and Reinvestment Fund data to do the analysis. City Council hopes “the data will speak for underserved communities that have not been able to advocate more successfully for themselves,” according to a release.

See the preliminary report

The effort, called the Community Sustainability Initiative, is, in part, a response to the idea that Center City gets the most city resources, Council members said.

“I hear all the time from people that too much of our focus is on Center City,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the Inquirer reported.

In the coming months, Council will work with community members to decide how the data should be weighted and what other data should be collected, said spokeswoman Jane Roh. When the initiative is finished, Council will release the maps and data to the public, she said.

The data-driven, GIS focus reminds us of the how the Philadelphia Police Department is using those strategies in policing.

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