How We Define a Successful Neighborhood
Data should be an engine for collaborative, positive neighborhood change. BECCD proposes the Detroit Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework be that engine. The framework will forge more empowered neighborhoods by encouraging collective action to generate vitality throughout all of Detroit’s neighborhoods.
What is “Neighborhood Vitality”?
Neighborhood Vitality is a concept to describe “success” in Detroit’s neighborhoods. BECDD stakeholders define vitality as “socially cohesive” neighborhood. Social cohesion is a well-researched idea that proposes social participation, social capital and social mobility as vital characteristics of a resilient city. Using social cohesion as the building block and starting point for neighborhood vitality, the proposed framework uses four categories of data to describe what creates “neighborhood vitality.”
The Neighborhood Vitality Framework Seeks to:
- Provide data for action, serving as a useful and dynamic tool for CDOs, resident leaders, and other users to plan, organize for change, and celebrate progress.
- Encourage collaboration and partnerships among the many stakeholders who utilize this tool.
- Incorporate both the measurable and difficult-to-measure data that contribute to a vital neighborhood.
- Create a shared awareness of current conditions in each zone and how they are changing over time.
The Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework: Four Components
- A set of data sources: primary (collected by our team) and secondary (already collected data by an outside group) data that make up each success category.
- Geographic Reporting Units called “Neighborhood Zones”: zones are aligned with City of Detroit Department of Neighborhood boundaries as well as City Council Districts.
- Success Indicators and Categories: Community Capacity, Resident Opportunity, Neighborhood Conditions and Quality of Life.
- A reporting tool called the “Neighborhood Vitality Index.”
The Four Data Categories and their Main Users/Collaborators
The Neighborhood Vitality Index will collect primary and secondary data for each Neighborhood Zone and organize that data into four categories (Community Capacity, Resident Opportunity, Neighborhood Conditions and Quality of Life). The results from the four categories will measure progress toward the vitality of each Neighborhood Zone.
- Community Capacity Indicators (Main collaborators/Users: CDOs and GROs, Intermediaries)
- Resident Opportunity Indicators (Main collaborators/Users: Funders, Intermediaries, Human Service Institutions, CDOs)
- Neighborhood Conditions Indicators (Main collaborators/Users: CDOs and City of Detroit)
- Quality of Life Indicators (Main collaborators/Users: Funders, Intermediaries, City of Detroit, CDOs)
2019–2020 Next Steps
- Communicate that this Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework is a work in progress and a starting point.
- Identify lead organization(s) willing to coordinate pilot-testing and reporting on learnings.
- Identify 2–4 neighborhood zones and their representative CDOs willing to test the system.
- Collectively learn from the test, convey learnings to the BECDD stakeholders and make necessary changes to the model.
- Work with the BECDD Steering Committee to seek “adopters” among various sectors, willing to jointly use the system to take collective action.