Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods


For this project the Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods group worked with Baltimore’s Southwest Partnership (SWP) to create mapping resources for their seven partnering neighborhoods. The primary focus was to investigate the health and safety of Southwest Baltimore’s current neighborhood using the most recent ACS (American Community Survey) and Census Data as well as open source data provided by the City and the SWP, to determine if certain conditions influence one another. Like much of Baltimore, the Partnership’s neighborhoods have been isolated and neglected due to white flight, racially restrictive zoning, redlining, and “decades of disinvestment.”1 By using GIS mapping to visualize the neighborhood conditions and GIS analysis to pinpoint areas of opportunity and concern, we hope to help SWP focus their resources to attract new residents and investment, particularly from its neighboring partners and anchor institutions. Recently planners have used GIS to map areas of opportunity and spatial mismatch where, for example, employment needs do not match resident skills. Using crime data provided by the SWP and the City, this report compares street conditions and demographics in Southwest Baltimore with contributing factors or variables that would affect the neighborhoods’ health and safety. The following variables were mapped: racial demographics, median household income, vacant houses, crime density by type and time of day, urban tree canopy, street conditions, street lights, and illegal dumping sites. Analysis showed that the neighborhood trends reflected issues facing Baltimore City as a whole, so the study area was expanded to provide context and draw comparisons between the City and the SWP area. Both Baltimore City and the SWP area have overlapping clusters of aging infrastructure, low income, crime, and vacancies abutting areas of wealth and security. In the end, the limiting factors on the analysis were due to incomplete data sets, which SWP recognizes and continues to build.


Final project for URSP688L: Planning Technologies (Fall 2015). University of Maryland, College Park.