The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance is preparing a series of reports to reflect on the changes that have occurred in Baltimore’s neighborhoods over the past decade. We have begun to work with the preliminary Decennial Census release from August 2021, and unfortunately, the results are discouraging so far. Overall, Baltimore City experienced -5.7% population loss between 2010 and 2020 according to the latest data release. Our current population is 585,708 which is the lowest population in a century. But as with almost everything, population does not affect every part of the city in the same way. Downtown/Seton Hill grew by 46.6% in the last decade and has nearly doubled its population since 2000. Just minutes away from downtown, however, Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park lost -29.3% of its population in the same decade. See our blog on this topic. To help us all understand why this might have occurred and how to turn these trends around, we are creating a series of briefs to assess the population and sociodemographics, housing diversity, occupancy, accessibility, connectivity, and quality of life of Baltimore’s neighborhoods and analyze how they have changed.
In this interactive data dashboard and mapping Hub, users can view the number of COVID-19 cases by zip code and a selection of our Vital Signs community indicators to see the communities and populations impacted by coronavirus. Additionally, BNIA-JFI provided an analysis of the top 211, 311, and 911 calls for assistance during 2020 to identify the needs of communities during COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
People living near vacant lots and abandoned buildings exhibit poor health; fortunately, recent research has shown that when vacant lots are greened and restored, the health of residents greatly improves. To date, most of this research has focused on adults. BNIA-JFI is part of a collaborative inter-university team to expand on this body of evidence to determine whether and how restoring vacant lots can mitigate health inequalities among disadvantaged adolescents, whose health and well-being are strongly influenced by neighborhood factors. BNIA-JFI’s main role in the project is to build a sharable database containing key characteristics of restored and unrestored vacant lots; While Baltimore City currently has over 18,000 vacant lots and 17,000 abandoned buildings, the City has developed a plan to ‘clean and green’ vacant lots in neighborhoods with large concentrations of vacancy. This provides us with a timely opportunity to explore the impact of vacant lot restoration on the health of adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods, with findings that can be used to develop long-term strategies for improving adolescent health equity.
Sponsor: South Big Data Hub
The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the University of Baltimore is partnering on a project with Towson University to create a series of webinars open to the public to learn about and evaluate several open data portal technologies for publishing data for smart cities and data science for social good.
The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance is supporting the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) as part of the Perkins, Somerset, Oldtown Transformation Plan. By tracking key indicators about the physical neighborhood, the residents, and the investment levels, a clearer picture of the transformation’s effects emerges.
Sponsor: The National Science Foundation
The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance—Jacob France Institute (BNIA-JFI) at the University of Baltimore will assist in the development of team-based data science corps consisting of undergraduate students from Computer Science, Information Systems, and Business majors. Students in the data science corps will gain both academic and hands-on experience through real-world data science projects. In this project we will focus on the city of Baltimore as an exemplar for other cities in the US and across the globe. We will collaborate with a number of government, industry, and community stakeholders in the city of Baltimore to integrate real-world data science projects into classroom instructions.
This project will be a collaborative eﬀort with UMBC as the coordinating as well as implementing organization and the University of Baltimore (UBalt), Towson University, and Bowie State University as implementing organizations. BNIA-JFI will be a part of a team of experts with multidisciplinary academic expertise and complementary training experiences in parallel computing, data science, big data, cybersecurity, virtual reality, geospatial data analysis, and urban and regional planning. BNIA-JFI will support integration of real-world data science projects by 1) recruiting and introducing data science tools and techniques to undergraduate students at UBalt; 2) accelerating the adoption of advanced data science techniques, such as geospatial analysis for projects in urban communities through community-based real-world projects.
Sponsor: The National Science Foundation
This multi-university project will create novel methods, answer open empirical questions and provide research-based guidelines for the design, development, deployment and evaluation of a privacy-respectful toolkit to identify and characterize the multi-factorial challenges typical of complex trips often times endured by low-income residents in Baltimore City; and to drive bottom-up, crowdsourced-informed actionable solutions via community conversations and a decision support system. This research is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1951924 to the University of Maryland
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 https://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.