People who want to make their neighborhood a better place to live and raise a family need to know where their effort matters most. This kind of data is available, but not easy to find, for either the professional or the responsible resident. There exists an overflow of data from a myriad of sources, but none gives a holistic set of neighborhood indicators as to what makes families thrive or fail to flourish.
To focus their effort and inform their strategic planning, the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) asked the city's Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) to provide data for 11 Community Districts (CD). Based on the positive reception, we realized these neighborhood profiles would be helpful to all the neighborhoods that make up the City of New York. The purpose of this NYC Community Data Atlas is to give access to the complex data that can direct efforts to strengthen family well-being throughout all of our neighborhoods.
The Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) under the Mayor's Office created profiles for all 59 CDs to reflect their varied characteristics. Each profile starts with a demographic overview and description of community boundaries, and then presents sections organized around the core components of the Two-Generational (2Gen; Children-Parents) and Three-Generational Approach (3Gen; Children-Parents-Grandparents). These emphasize the transfer of both vulnerabilities and assets from one generation to the next.
Demographics, Cultural Connections, Health and Well-being, Economic Assets, and Education. Lastly, each profile presents a child welfare and juvenile justice section that shows the community's involvement in ACS programs.
Each section's indicator list has been diligently curated to include "Quality Indicators" through comprehensive discussions with government agencies. Quality indicators are those for which we can (1) calculate and highlight the statistical reliability of indicator values; (2) source the data from trusted New York City agencies and/or other government datasets; (3) make publicly available; (4) update regularly, ideally every year; and (5) make available at meaningful and familiar geographical levels for local communities
The geographic levels at which the profiles provide data are the City level, CD level, and when possible at the more granular level of the Neighborhood Tabulation Area (NTA). NTAs are specific to New York City and consist of a number of Census Tracts residing exactly within the boundary of a Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA), which approximates to CD. Because NTAs are smaller than PUMAs and CDs, data at this level capture local dynamics of neighborhoods that would otherwise be obscured at the CD level. Providing indicators at the NTA level (1) provides an understanding of how different parts of community can vary from one another; (2) helps leaders focus strategies in a specific geographic area; and (3) allows for a more manageable assessment of outcomes. Thus, the profiles allow communities to understand variability within their geography as well as compare their geography with other CDs in order to understand their community within the larger NYC context.
On a final note, these community profiles have limitations. More and/or different indicators could have been included and we will build on these profiles where there is room for improvement. However, our focus on the statistical reliability of indicators and use of the 2Gen framework provided a reasonable and rigorous theoretical, research-based approach to the selection of these community indicators.