NNIP Welcomes Newest Partners in Columbus

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)   (Columbus)
Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA)   (Columbus)

June 2022

The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership is pleased to announce the acceptance of the collaboration of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and The Ohio State University's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) in Columbus as the newest Partner organizations. 

The two organizations have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring that the Columbus community has access to data and the skills to use information to advance equity and well-being across neighborhoods. Their staff serve as data translators and navigators, educators, convenors, collaborators, and voices for change.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is Central Ohio’s regional council with more than 75 members comprised of counties, cities, villages, townships, and regional organizations. We take pride in bringing communities of all sizes and interests together to collaborate on best practices and plan for the future of our growing region.

CURA is an interdisciplinary group of scholars that serves as a bridge across academia, industry, and the policy sector by providing spatial analysis of economic, social, environmental, and health issues in urban and regional settings in Ohio and beyond. CURA offers a wide range of support services for research that applies to urban and metropolitan areas, rural areas, and broader regional issues.

The two organizations have complementary strengths and coordinate closely as they provide various data and data services. Local references for the organizations shared that they are excited that MORPC and CURA are deepening their relationship with one another and expanding on their ability to provide data services to the Columbus region. They noted these organizations are excellent collaborators across sectors and devoted to making data accessible and ensuring better outcomes for Columbus. 

Some examples of the two organizations' local work are:

  • The Central Ohio Regional Sustainability Dashboard is a prime example of MORPC's and CURA's collaboration to improve the region.  The dashboard, developed with the input of a cross-sector working group, helps the region to monitor the objectives of the Regional Sustainability Agenda.  Although the data depicted on the dashboard are aggregated at the county or region level, much of the input data are more granular, and the input data, the output data, and code are documented and available to the public. They are currently planning a set of improvements that will incorporate changes to the Regional Sustainability Agenda and will make the data even more findable and accessible. 
  • The Central Ohio Regional Housing Strategy was a collaborative effort by public and private partners across the Central Ohio Region, led by MORPC, the City of Columbus, and Franklin County, to comprehensively evaluate and identify strategies to meet current and future housing needs. The process documented existing and projected housing needs in the region, grounded by both quantitative and qualitative assessments to understand housing supply and demand, barriers to development, and the regional housing finance landscape.  The Strategy's Implementer’s Toolkit  presents the entire range of potential housing actions and allows users to explore and filter them based on several criteria, such as geography, area characteristics, housing issue, or type of action. Further engagement with a broader range of community members is ongoing to advance the Strategy's vision and ensure implementation is grounded in the full range of Central Ohioans’ lived experiences.
  • Central Ohio Transit Metrics provides easy access to a range of data from the Central Ohio Transit Authority, such as schedule data and real-time vehicle location data.  The two apps depicts the delays in the network and one which models the scheduled and actual accessibility provided by the network.  Planned future additions to the tool include adding features that will allow the user to analyze the attractions (homes, jobs, businesses, etc.) that are accessible to transit riders given a set of parameters.  The tools have also motivated and continue to support several ongoing threads of research involving transit service equity that CURA hopes will influence central Ohio's future transit planning.  


For more examples of efforts in Columbus to democratize data, visit their NNIP Profile. One of the roles of the NNIP network is to promote the development of local data intermediaries in new cities. Learn more about becoming an NNIP partner.

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