Fostering Participation & Capacity Building with Neighborhood Information Systems

Presentation by David Epstein, University of Michigan
November 2012

Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development   (Cleveland)

The presentation will share preliminary findings from David Epstein’s dissertation at the University of Michigan in Urban and Regional Planning. Using a mixed-methods approach, it seeks to understand how public access to property data affects neighborhood revitalization processes.

David conducted semi-structured interviews and participant observation in Cleveland and Minneapolis, which have strong revitalization programs and nationally-recognized data providers. While the neighborhood information systems in both cities were once web-based, the system in Minneapolis shifted in 2007 to providing only offline custom services. Past users in Minneapolis can therefore compare how the two models of information provision differ in supporting participation and capacity building. He then combined these qualtative materials with a quantitative study of anonymized computer logfiles from Cleveland’s NEO CANDO indicator system, graciously provided by the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western University.

Many of the people responsible for creating and funding indicator systems do so to improve public participation, capacity, and social equity. David will discuss what my findings mean for these stakeholders. Contact David Epstein at if you are interested in a copy of the presentation.

Event Name: 
Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit