Latest “Vital Signs” Report for Neighborhoods Released

One of Baltimore’s best resources for understanding our neighborhoods and for planning strategies to address our neighborhoods’ concerns has an all new edition.

The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute (BNIA) releases an annual “Vital Signs” report in order to “‘take the pulse’ of Baltimore by measuring progress towards strengthening neighborhoods, improving quality of life, and sustaining a thriving, vital city.” The 2012 version, Vital Signs 10, looks at indicators such as Housing and Community Development, Children & Family Health, Crime and Safety, Workforce & Economic Development, Sanitation, Urban Environment/Transportation, Education & Youth, and Neighborhood Action both Citywide and at the neighborhood level.

Neighborhoods should download the report for their area.  If your neighborhood seems different from what the data shows, or you think you can explain some of the data, contact BNIA!  Their staff are interested in your story and would like to know some of the on-the-ground details and stories that the numbers can’t show or tell.

Vital Signs 10 shows that statistics related to citywide quality of life indicators like crime, high school drop-out rate, and percentage of people using alternate means of transportation, continue to go in the right direction.  However,  improvement has not come at an equal pace among neighborhoods. Read the executive summary of this year’s edition here and the full report here.

On Maryland Morning earlier this month, Sheila Kast spoke with two Jacob France Institute members, associate director Seema Iyer and project manager Matthew Kachura, about how the information for Vital Signs is collected, what this year’s results mean for the Mayor’s goal of attracting 10,000 new families to the city, and what changes in the city’s ethnic and age makeup mean.

The Sun’s Real Estate Expert, Jamie Smith Hopkins, has picked apart Vital Signs’ numbers on housing and found significant trends such as a rise in significant internal and external home improvement.  Read her post here.

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