Sponsor: Baltimore City Department of Planning
In 2015, in the aftermath of civil unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, the Department of Planning staff convened an Equity in Planning Committee to examine the Department’s role in contributing to inequities present in the City. One of the first recommendations of the committee was to assess the equity of the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which encompasses the capital budget for Baltimore. The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA), analyzed CIP data provided by the Department and indicator from Vital Signs to see how capital investments in neighborhoods relate to demographic and other factors in those neighborhoods.
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation; National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership Cross-Site Project
The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance will be helping the City of Baltimore’s Complete Count Campaign with 2020 Census local outreach to ensure a complete count of young children by better understanding community variations in digital access. A forthcoming brief will outline the ways that local data and tech organizations can contribute to strategic planning and mobilization for outreach.
“Exploring the Baltimore Regional Study Archives and the Baltimore Vital Signs Open Data to Improve Quality of Life in Baltimore Neighborhoods”
The Baltimore Regional Study Archives (BRSA) at the Robert L. Bogomolny Library (Library) contains a wealth of archival information on Baltimore’s neighborhoods. However, these resources do not currently have clear pathways for potential users to interact with open data prepared by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) for neighborhoods to track quality of life measures impacting their community. The purpose of this collaboration is to create scaffolded learning experiences and pedagogical supports to better understand how to access both archival materials as well as open data to empower everyone who cares about neighborhoods to effectively “tell their story”. This project will convene community members in a workshop with tailored resources from the Baltimore Regional Study Archives and the Baltimore Vital Signs report. The project will also train librarians, UB students and community members on BNIA and BRSA resources and how to incorporate the materials into lessons and course research. Outcomes will be showcased at the annual Baltimore Data workshop held every year in July.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
The University of Baltimore is among four of Maryland’s leading universities working together on a plan to apply cutting-edge technologies—such as free public internet, smart street lights and innovative transportation hubs—to improve the lives of residents in West Baltimore. Led by the University of Maryland, College Park, and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the “Smart Cities” initiative will pair smart technology with the latest research in equity, health and urban planning to outline a roadmap for city policymakers as they work to increase quality of life in Baltimore. Other universities involved include the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Read more…
Sponsor: 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 and empower advocates to devise efficient stabilization and revitalization strategies in neighborhoods across the city. This project will create a user-friendly mapping and data tool that integrates publicly available parcel-level property information from multiple sources, including 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. This resource is now available online at https://bniajfi.org/bold/.
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 FY2017, BNIA is continuing our role as program evaluator.
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.