Philadelphia Community Sustainability Initiative Report

On July 30, 2014, ESI President, Stephen Mullin, The Reinvestment Fund President of Policy Solutions, Ira Goldstein and the City Council’s Housing and Community Development Executive Director, Herb Wetzel, participated in a press conference to announce an innovative, data-driven strategy to measure quality of life indicators in every Philadelphia neighborhood. This conference explained the targeted policies, planning and budget decisions that will enable Philadelphia to achieve its full potential as a prosperous, forward-thinking city. The Community Sustainability Initiative (CSI) is a challenge to residents, businesses, institutions and government to make every Philadelphia neighborhood a Community of Choice.

In collaboration with public policy consultants The Reinvestment Fund, and Econsult Solutions, City Council has compiled data on quality of life indicators across the city. The CSI establishes seven core measurements for the following areas:

  • Housing Demand: Median sales price, building permits, residential sales price
  • Housing Distress: Act 91 notices, foreclosure filings
  • Crime & Safety: rate, 311 report rate, % vacant buildings, % vacant lots
  • Education: Great Philly Schools quality rating, crime within ¼ mile of school
  • Amenities: Distance to nearest library, bank, recreation center
  • Prosperity: % cost burdened, median household income, % owner occupied
  • Commerce: Availability and diversity of food establishments, retail and personal service options

Used in conjunction with mapping technology, this data will demonstrate the health of neighborhoods based on these consensus quality of life indicators. More significantly, the data will speak for underserved communities that have not been able to advocate more successfully for themselves.

The data collection will be refined and complemented by community input, which City Council will solicit via neighborhood outreach in coming months.

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