Complete Communities Strategy Theme 1: Data for Informed Decision Making

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Complete Communities Strategy Theme 1: Data for Informed Decision Making

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As mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, Complete Communities for a Changing Region developed four high-level strategies for turning our shared goals for quality neighborhoods into action in Buffalo Niagara :

• Providing Data and Analytical Resources for Informed Decision Making.
• Anticipating, Accommodating and Embracing Demographic Shifts.
• Pursuing Neighborhood-Specific Asset-Based Strategies for Redevelopment.
• Improving the Housing Support Delivery System.

This blog will continue to delve into each on of these goals a bit further, starting at the top with data and analysis, which are fundamental to any community development strategy.

complete communities strategy set 1“Data is foundational to making sound, forward-thinking decisions about investment in neighborhoods…”

Given the importance of baseline and trend data for successful neighborhood development efforts, the Complete Communities stakeholder group raised this as a priority and pointed to a current analysis of housing supply and demand as an essential starting point for neighborhood-level strategies and as the starting point for development of a Regional Property Information System.

To see what regions were excelling at making property and neighborhood data available to governments, neighborhood based organizations and individuals, the Complete Communities stakeholder team looked at a host of best practices from around the country.  UPenn’s Neighborhood Information System and the Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing (NEOCANDO) system were pioneers in the data field and have since been joined by a network of data providers across the country in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.

These systems generally include data on housing, land, neighborhoods and municipalities to support ongoing planning and policy-making around housing and neighborhoods. Many of the most successful regions have created open source portals to engage tech communities and provide data tools and apps that can have direct engagement opportunities for neighborhoods.

Though work needs to be done to link the disparate data held by the various local and state entities, the private sector and others, in recent years cloud and GIS based systems have made that task dramatically easier and more effective.


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