Neighborhood Early Warning Systems: Four Cities' Experience and Implications for the District of Columbia

Report by Christopher Snow, Kathryn L.S. Pettit, Margery Austin Turner
October 2003

Urban–Greater DC   (Washington, D.C.)

To alert community stakeholders to buildings at risk, institutions in several cities created neighborhood early warning systems (NEWS) in the 1980's and 1990's. These online systems integrated and mapped public administrative data to pinpoint deterioration in housing. City agency staff, housing practioners, and neighborhood groups consulted NEWS to locate troubled properties or to craft strategies to revive distressed neighborhoods. This paper reviews four neighborhood early warning systems — Chicago NEWS, Neighborhood Knowledge Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Neighborhood Information System, and the Minneapolis Neighborhood Information System — to explore the value and feasibility of developing a system for Washington, D.C.