PolicyMap users are always finding new ways to convey their work through our maps and data. Here are just a few of the latest ways users are making PolicyMap work for them:
City planner and housing advocate Alan Mallach wrote a report for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy on housing vacancy, titled “The Empty House Next Door.” The report, which uses maps and data from PolicyMap, looks at how vacancy rose during the Great Recession, and looks at indicators both at a national level and in various cities. The report uses vacancy data from a variety of sources including the Census, Valassis Lists, and city parcel surveys, as well as home sale data from Boxwood Means. In a section on hypervacancy, the report shows a map of Baltimore’s lowest and highest valued homes next to a 3-Layer Map showing where low home sale prices coincide with high rates of nonseasonal vacancy, clearly showing several impacted neighborhoods. PolicyMap has also been working with the Lincoln Institute to create the Place Database, a tool for visualizing indicators on land policy.
The Urban Displacement Project, a research and action initiative run by UC Berkeley in collaboration with researchers at UCLA and Portland State University, has a list of resources for research on redlining and gentrification. Along with a helpful summary of redlining and its legacy, focusing on San Francisco, it has links to the University of Richmond’s “Mapping Inequality” project, a report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), and PolicyMap, where the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) redlining maps can be viewed overlaying current-day indicators, showing the effect of the historic practice on today’s neighborhoods.
In an article on Opportunity Zones, Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) looks at some of the potential and uncertainties around the new federal program. In particular, they ask whether it might act as a tax benefit for gentrifying areas, rather than accomplish its goal of helping challenged areas. The article mentions PolicyMap’s recent Mapchats webinar with Jeremy Nowak, in which he lays out principles for maximizing the positive impact of Opportunity Zones. According to the article, “These principles focus on developing integrated community and economic development strategies that leverage existing programs, balance market forces with social need, and ensure that data is a central feature in assessing effectiveness.”
Leviticus Fund, a faith-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on “justice in the stewardship of economic resources,” used PolicyMap to embed a map on its site showing its investments across the Northeast. The map allows users to see details of each investment, including the project type, loan amount, and location. It really illustrates both the geographic and topical breadth of Leviticus Fund’s work.
PolicyMap is working with the Georgia Department of Education and Atlanta Regional Commission to create a custom mapping tool to support the state’s Get Georgia Reading campaign. Through the tool’s mapping interface, users can get details about schools, as well as underlying indicators in their neighborhoods. The tool is the second item down in this list.