Philly intends to get to know its neighborhoods better

Philadelphia City Council unveiled the “Community Sustainability Initiative” at a presentation Wednesday hosted by The Community College of Philadelphia.

The project aims to make every neighborhood in Philadelphia a “community of choice.”

The idea is to gather and sort data on all the city’s neighborhoods and rate them on seven quality-of-life indications: safety, education, commerce, amenities, housing demand, housing stability and prosperity, organizers said.

The information will be assembled in a massive citywide interactive map, designed to let policymakers see where there is need and what that need is.

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For the project the city has partnered with consulting firms Econsult Solutions and The Reinvestment Fund, which have been tasked with devising the parameters of each index and aggregating all relevant data.

“At the end of the day every neighborhood will have a snapshot,” said TRF president Ira Goldstein.

Councilman Curtis Jones said the initiative will help officials make more efficient and strategic policy decisions.

“This is a road map that allows us to make better decisions with limited resources,” he said.

It should also focus more attention on underrepresented communities, and help the city address issues such as poverty and income inequality, said Council President Darrell Clarke.

Clarke added that the information and map be accessible to citizens online “relatively soon.”

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