Using PolicyMap: A Few Suggestions

Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project

This is the legacy version of the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project (MPIP). MPIP no longer has the personnel or the funding to allow it to continue its primary goal: to establish a broad set of community indicators that would serve as an information asset for the communities of the Philadelphia region. The costs of assembling these data products have increased, as well as the costs of creating on-line mapping of the region's community indicators. We have reached an agreement with PolicyMap that will enable this central service goal to continue. PolicyMap provides a robust mapping platform, a comprehensive data archive, and the ability to tailor data analyses to a wide variety of community-level decisions.

Overview of Community Indicators

MPIP developed and produced a set of indicators that mapped and measured different dimensions of the communities in the greater Philadelphia area. These indicators addressed demographic, economic, political, environmental, transportation and living conditions across the region. The information we provided was based on the best quality data that were available, and tied to the community-based geographies of the region – municipal boundaries, school districts, census tracts, counties, and states. We have provided a short description of the kinds of specific indicators that were made available under each of 15 categories, using the following list. Additionally, there are short descriptions that further introduce each category under the respective buttons on the drop-down menu.

Policy Map

Data mapped by PolicyMap, an online GIS mapping tool.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Policy Brief: As foreclosures continue to gradually decline, the effects of the protracted period of lending uncertainty and lowered property values are likely to persist. The negative outcomes of the real estate market crash cannot be fixed with a simple reversal of bad policies or the remediation of bad banking/lending behaviors. Communities face devalued and "underwater" (housing with market values below the amount owed to mortgages) properties that complicate the process of cleaning the backlog of delinquent properties. Major Federal initiatives to address these issues have been...

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MPIP in the News!

Several news articles have recently featured commentary from MPIP's principal investigator, David Elesh.

Temple University's Institute for Public Affairs Releases Report on Municipal Governance

The Temple University Governance Survey finds that despite a recession that has depressed state and local revenues, Pennsylvanians are generally satisfied with their municipal governments but may underestimate the challenges local officials will face in maintaining the quality of public services in the future.

Ninety-one percent of Pennsylvanians feel local services have remained about the same or gotten better rhather than worse in the last few years, and 81 percent expect services to remain the same or get better in the next few years. These expectations are probably unrealistic, given the fiscal challenges facing the new governor, new legislature, and municipal officials.

Open Data Race Winners Publish Data

In October, The Public School Notebook won OpenDataRace, OpenDataPhilly's  contest in which local nonprofit organizations nominated civic-oriented city datasets that if released would help them accomplish their missions and improve our region.  Winning the contest opened up a conversation between The Notebook and the School District of Philadelphia and contributed to the release of the National Student Clearinghouse for the 2005-06 cohort.