City of Change: Toward a Neighborhood Level Analysis

Blog post by Noah Urban; DataDriven Detroit
December 23, 2014

Data Driven Detroit (D3)   (Detroit)

In 2009, Data Driven Detroit (D3) participated in the Detroit Residential Parcel Survey (DRPS), collecting data on roughly 350,000 structures and vacant lots in the city of Detroit.  The survey captured information on the physical condition of Detroit’s residential neighborhoods and empty lots.  Eventually, passage of time rendered the DRPS dataset less representative of current conditions in the city and thus less useful for decision-makers.  In the winter of 2013, the Motor City Mapping project once again undertook the collection of parcel-level data in Detroit.  Using teams of resident surveyors and volunteer drivers, Motor City Mapping covered nearly 380,000 parcels in only six weeks of field work, providing information on structural condition and occupancy.   In addition, D3 incorporated more than twenty other datasets into Motor City Mapping, creating the most comprehensive property database ever for Detroit.

“City of Change” is a D3 blog series dedicated to using these newly available data to explore how Detroit has changed over the past five years. Building on the analysis in the previous installments, this installment looks at the changes over time in a number of targeted investment areas. As with the broader analysis of trends across the city, it focuses on previously identified data indicators pertaining to Detroit’s building conditions, its occupancy density, and its mortgage markets. This more granular focus allows one to examine the differences in outcomes in these targeted communities in terms of attracting and retaining residents and market investment, both in comparison to other areas in the same program and the rest of the city as a whole.