Map Monday: Rankings of Minneapolis Neighborhoods by Overall Health

minneapolis-health-neighborhoods-communities-assessment-tool

Today’s  map shows Minneapolis neighborhoods by their overall health — defined not only as the health of its residents, but also of the neighborhood’s environment, economy, schools, social institutions, housing, transportation, and safety.  (View detailed rankings here and search by address here.)

The map was created using data from the Healthy Communities Assessment Tool (HCAT), which was launched last year as part of a three-year pilot involving Minneapolis, San Diego, Albuquerque and Providence. Funded by HUD, the initiative began in 2013 to help communities create a reliable tools for targeting resources.  Project leaders consulted community stakeholders and considered more than 200 possible indicators before selecting 42 to be part of the index.

The results are preliminary.  Stakeholders are now testing the tool on various projects to see what changes might be made to the index itself or the functionality of the website.  Stakeholders include neighborhood groups, local government, schools and healthcare organizations.  The pilot will wrap up this summer.

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4 Responses to Map Monday: Rankings of Minneapolis Neighborhoods by Overall Health

  1. Stuart March 17, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    An interesting map with lots of information buried in the data sets, but it has some room for improvement.

    I was looking at my own neighborhood (Lyndale) which I love. Partly because it is a transition neighborhood with parts that are very low income lining Lake street and 35W transitioning to much higher income near the borders with Kingfield and CARAG. This range in population (and building) characteristics makes for an interesting neighborhood, but it also means that whenever I see these ranked data sets for city neighborhoods, there are some surprises for me when it comes to my neck of the woods.

    One thing that caught my eye was a very poor ranking for Pedestrian Connectivity (73rd) but a very high ranking for Walkability (17th). This seemed contradictory to me until I looked at it further. The Pedestrian Connectivity is basically a measure of intersections per square mile, where as Walkability is a measure of having worthwhile things to walk to. The blocks in this area are slightly wider than in many in the city (I like my deeper than average lot size), so I understand how the rankings happened, but it still seems like a flaw in the methodology.

    One more thing. Apparently there is a superfund site in my neighborhood, but I can’t find anything telling me what it might be. The maps/lists of Minnesota superfund sites don’t show anything nearby.

  2. Paul Strebe March 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Interesting — yes, these single indices can be misleading. I thought about breaking the overall rankings into smaller units, but I decided that might make it even more problematic. But I guess this is why they are beta testing this. One index might not be all that useful.

  3. Keith Morris March 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    This map is all but worthless: Como and Whittier ≠ Jordan and Hawthorne by any stretch of the imagination. Whittier, for example, has seen lots of major improvements on Eat Street as well as the neighborhoods bordering Central Ave from Broadway to Lowry.

    • Paul Strebe March 18, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      I don’t think it’s worthless, but you’re right in that it doesn’t capture the nuances of all the differences between neighborhoods. And an improvement in one area might be canceled out by a deficiency in another. I’d encourage you to look at the specifics of each neighborhood using the links in the article.

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