USC Price School of Public Policy

Price CSI named partner in Urban Institute’s neighborhood data collaboration

January 10, 2017

Price CSI named partner in Urban Institute’s neighborhood data collaboration

The Sol Price Center for Social Innovation at the USC Price School of Public Policy has been selected to become a Los Angeles partner in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a collaboration between the Urban Institute and local organizations that democratizes data to give residents and community organizations a stronger voice in improving their neighborhoods.

The NNIP aims to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems for community building and local decision-making. Established in 1996, the partnership now includes 31 cities across the U.S.

As a peer learning network, NNIP provides the Price Center with an opportunity to share data analysis strategies, new data sets, best practices and to pursue cross-site collaboration on research projects of national significance.

“This development positions the Price Center as an important nexus for community engagement and research on how and why neighborhoods change,” said USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott. “It aligns with the Price Center’s mission to create innovative new pathways from the cradle to career for residents of low income communities and encourage a national dialogue on social and urban development policies.”

Gary Painter

Professor Gary Painter, director of social policy at the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation

Price CSI recently entered into a collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office to evaluate data related to the federal Promise Zones program.

“To provide community data at the neighborhood level is a necessary, but not sufficient ingredient for catalyzing community change,” said Professor Gary Painter, director of social policy at Price CSI. “Neighborhood-level data provide a common language for accessing community needs and for developing and assessing targeted interventions to improve the quality of life for residents of low-income communities.”

As data collection becomes more sophisticated and less costly, neighborhood data platforms are poised to provide the information communities need to develop policies and interventions solving some of the most difficult challenges. One key aspect of this partnership will be the creation by Price CSI of a public portal where anyone, from researchers to local government officials to community activists, can access community data for the purpose of identifying trends and contexts that define a neighborhood. The portal will be launched at “FORWARD LA: Race, Arts, and Inclusive Placemaking after the 1992 Civil Unrest,” Price CSI’s annual conference, which will be held on April 27-28.

Neighborhood data can serve as a catalyst for policy change on a wide range of issues affecting communities everywhere, including affordable housing, transportation, and the relationship between public safety and education.

“This partnership can open up new avenues for inquiry, empowering community groups with the information they need to advocate for change at the local level,” Knott noted. “Data can be a building block in efforts to revitalize cities and towns throughout America, enabling us to ask new analytical questions and place the answers in a context of public policy that improves the lives of our citizens and communities.”