Whats New at MPIP
The Arts and Culture Indicators Partnerships is a specific initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, and is housed at the Urban Institute where it is a collaborative venture with NNIP (http://www.urban.org/nnip/acip.html). Recently, MPIP has been asked to join with another existing Philadelphia based effort, the Social Impact of the Arts project (http://www.ssw.upenn.edu/SIAP), expanding the strong city based efforts of SIAP to include regional comparisons.
MPIP presented a discussion of the difficulties of working with spatially diffuse data (on the environment and on transportation at the International Community Indicators Consortium in March, 2004. A PowerPoint summary of the presentation will be available shortly on this website. MPIP also coordinated a panel presentation of the multiple constituencies and interests involved in developing a community indicators system at the Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association in April, 2004.
The National Neighborhood Indicator Partnership (NNIP; http://www.urban.org/nnip) has become a key data partner with The Reinvestment Fund as they represent Philadelphia in a national partnership of 22 sites to further the democratization of data in the service of community needs assessment, program development and new initiatives for community development. As one of several partners that addresses regional issues as well as community dynamics, MPIP has actively participated in two of NNIP’s national meetings thus far, sponsored a panel session featuring NNIP efforts at a national urban affairs meeting (see story about UAA below), and developed a strategic partnership with TRF to illustrate the relationship between neighborhood development options and regional patterns of development.
Our Where We Stand annual report monitors eleven dimensions of community life, selecting a few critical indicators to tell us where we stand on those dimensions as a region and within individual local communities.
In the current economic downturn that touches the lives of many households in greater Philadelphia, we are more conscious than ever that the citizens of this region share a common future. No matter where we live or work, all of us depend on a job market, a quality workforce, a transportation system, a housing market, a wealth of cultural and educational resources, and air and water sheds that are regional in scope. To strengthen those shared assets, we must connect local issues and concerns to the larger regional picture.
This annual report monitors eleven dimensions of community life, selecting a few critical indicators to tell us where we stand on those dimensions as a region and within individual local communities. Each section of this report shows you how greater Philadelphia ranks in comparison with eight other metropolitan areas, four of which are flourishing regions that serve as models (Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Phoenix), two of which are older industrial areas similar to ours (Detroit and Cleveland), and two of which are regional competitors (Baltimore and Pittsburgh). Each section also portrays patterns within our region, which we define as the central cities of Philadelphia and Camden plus the suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery in Pennsylvania, along with Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem in New Jersey. We provide annual updates for the indicators contained in this publication in order to track changes in our communities, identify strengths, and focus attention on problem areas.
Since the publication of our 2008 edition, we have upgraded our project website (http://mpip.temple.edu) by adding MetroPhilaMapper, a new web resource that allows users to easily find data about all communities in the region, to view the information displayed in charts, tables, and maps, and to compare data that used to be scattered across multiple sources. MetroPhilaMapper provides over 300 local and regional indicators, including land use patterns, population characteristics, school district spending and performance, income and wage data, and crime patterns for the two-state, nine-county region.
This project was made possible with support from the William Penn Foundation.
In addition to surveying households within the Greater Philadelphia region, Temple researchers have also surveyed households across the state of Pennsylvania, asking them the same questions we asked within the Philadelphia metro region. A new report looks at whether Pennsylvanian's attitudes about their communities differed systematically depending on the type of community they live in. Read When and How Does Place Matter in Pennsylvania?
In March 2008, MPIP researcher David Bartelt presented data and maps to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Citizen’s Committee that demonstrated the range of communities served by the region’s rail network (SEPTA, PATCO, and New Jersey Transit). The presentation focused on measuring the regional rail system as a community asset that benefits the households and communities of the region; it examined the relationships between rail ridership and housing values, the community tax base, and community vitality. A more extensive analysis will be available in early fall 2008.
MPIP researcher David Elesh presented an analysis using MPIP data at the annual meeting of the Urban Affairs Association in Baltimore on April 24, 2008. Using data on the average verbal and mathematics scores of 8th graders in 148 school districts in Greater Philadelphia, he explored the characteristics of school districts that succeed and fail.
MPIP researcher David Elesh presented an analysis using MPIP data at the annual meeting of the Urban Affairs Association in Baltimore on April 24, 2008. Using data on the average verbal and mathematics scores of 8th graders in 148 school districts in Greater Philadelphia, he explored the characteristics of school districts that succeed and fail. Since New Jersey and Pennsylvania use different tests to evaluate their students, he analyzed districts’ performance adjusting for state differences. His research revealed that districts’ average socioeconomic status is by far the strongest predictor of their average verbal and math scores. However, the existing research literature strongly suggests that researchers need to move to a layered approach to students’ academic performance that considers the simultaneous effects of individual, teacher, class, school, and district characteristics on student performance.
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