Sponsors: Abell Foundation
In partnership with the Community Law Center and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, BNIA-JFI is developing data-driven technology tools to create solutions to vacant property problems that will empower advocates to devise efficient stabilization and revitalization strategies in neighborhoods across the city. The project will create a user-friendly mapping and data tool that integrates publicly available parcel-level property information from multiple sources. This data will include such information as property ownership, code violations, occupancy, foreclosure, and tax sale status. The tool will provide users with a comprehensive set of relevant information to better understand, analyze, and reform various property-related policies, including tax-sale foreclosure.
Vital Signs 14
Sponsors: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), France-Merrick Foundation, Baltimore Development Corporation
Arts and cultural activities contribute to the vitality of neighborhoods by creating spaces for social interaction and sharing, stimulating community-based economic opportunities, and transforming the physical and emotional notions of place. As Baltimore’s communities, growth, and economy are increasingly tied to arts and culture, creating a mapping tool to track related data has become essential to the city’s future.
Sponsor: Customer Investment Fund that resulted from Public Service Commission conditions for the 2013 merger between Constellation and Exelon.
The Baltimore Energy Initiative was announced in 2014 as a three-year program to streamline and expand energy efficiency and security services, with a focus on lower-income residents. BNIA’s role is to evaluate the multiple city agencies and programs involved in the initiative to ensure they meet their goals of reducing energy consumption throughout the city. Through this project, BNIA has expanded its expertise to include program evaluations for city agencies and non-profits. In FY2016, BNIA is continuing our role as program evaluator.
Sponsor: Project funded by the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice through a Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Planning Grant from the US Department of Justice
Working with faculty in UB’s School of Criminal Justice, BNIA-JFI used community-based indicators to develop a data-driven analysis of the drivers of crime within the McElderry Park community. Several crime hotspots were identified along with systemic issues related to violent and property crime in the area. Evidence-based and community-led solutions will be documented in a plan that will be utilized by the McElderry Park Revitalization Coalition and submitted to the DOJ for implementation funds for the Byrne Grant.
Sponsor: Goldseker Foundation
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Grow Baltimore in December 2011 with the goal of increasing Baltimore City’s population by 10,000 new households by 2020. In partnership with the Goldseker Foundation, the City aims to target retention strategies using data on former and current residents. Several City agencies and community partners have been working towards this goal independently through their strategies, services, and programs. However, there is a need for a coordinated overarching strategy to achieve the Mayor’s goal of achieving sustained population growth. The Goldseker Foundation funded BNIA-JFI to produce actionable information for the Mayor’s Office, city departments, and local nonprofit organizations to further the Grow Baltimore initiative. An advisory committee formed in 2014 and meets approximately every six weeks to insure that the work proceeds in collaboration and partnership with key stakeholders who will implement policies to more effectively retain Baltimore residents.
Sponsor: Baltimore Community Foundation
In a team led by the University of Maryland School of Social Work, BNIA-JFI is providing data and community-based indicators to evaluate progress within BCF’s two target neighborhoods, Greater Highlandtown and Reservoir Hill. BCF Target Neighborhoods have received a commitment of $1 million in resources over three years, which includes $600,000 in grants, a significant amount of staff time on the ground in these neighborhoods, and a thorough evaluation of social capital, cleanliness, greening, safety, and vibrancy. Specific sustainability indicators derived from this evaluation will be incorporated into future Vital Signs reports.
Sponsor: Project funded by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council through a Sustainable Communities Grant from the US Department of Housing
In a team led by he Innovative Housing Institute with BAE Urban Economics and the Housing Group at UMD’s National Center for Smart Growth, BNIA-JFI is working to develop a plan that will identify regional housing priorities and develop a toolkit of strategies to address them. The core components of the plan will be (1) a Regional Housing Demographic and Market Assessment, and (2) a Fair Housing Equity Assessment (FHEA). For more information, visit http://www.opportunitycollaborative.org/housing-plan/
Sponsor: Association of Builders & Contractors—Baltimore Chapter, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore
A new on-line service called ‘The Pipeline’ was launched this year that tracks development projects in the pre-planning stages as a service to developers. Understanding and keeping track of the status of projects during the development review phase is complicated because projects evolve as developers ensure compliance with local land use regulations and produce contextually sensitive final designs. The purpose of the ‘The Pipeline’ is to develop a database and visualization prototype that tracks development projects through the review process and documents the status of the project prior to obtaining a building permit. The database of projects is geocoded and available for visualization on an online mapping tool http://realestate.bniajfi.org. Other data sources include real estate news outlets and other local information. The partnership has sponsored students from the Merrick School of Business Real Estate program to serve as research assistants.
Sponsor: University of Baltimore, Fund for Excellence
BNIA-JFI received a grant to 1) conduct an survey of academic users to understand the impact of BNIA-JFI data on academic analysis, curriculum development and service learning at UB; 2) establish a network of academic users for peer-to-peer learning and the advancement of the science of community-based information; 3) raise awareness among UB faculty by developing curriculum modules for faculty to incorporate in multi-disciplinary contexts, 4) host cross-university coursework and other projects online at www.bniajfi.org; and 5) invite faculty and students to present findings at the annual workshop Baltimore Data Day. The goals of this project include integrated use of the community- based data on campus, support for UB’s designation as a Carnegie-designated Engaged University and growing educational opportunities in Geographic Information Systems on campus.
Sponsor: US Department of Agriculture, US Forestry Service, Northern Research Station
In 2011, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership established Baltimore as one of seven pilot sites in an effort to coordinate resources to “revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them”. Collaboration among inter-governmental, inter-jurisdictional and non-governmental entities is critical to gaining a common understanding of localized problems and developing an integrated set of strategies for achieving community revitalization. Beginning September 2012, BNIA-JFI began to create an interactive resource tool for community gardens and open spaces in an effort to timely monitoring and coordinate activities to strengthen the relationship between improving urban waters and community revitalization. This resource is now available online at http://water.bniajfi.org/ and should be useful for leveraging community-based funding, policy development and advocacy.