Fulfilling the Promise: Seven Steps to Successful Community-Based Information Strategies

ABSTRACT

While some neighborhoods in American cities are resurgent, many others remain stubbornly entrenched in a cycle of underinvestment. A contributing factor is that—despite thriving immigrant populations, high volumes of cash transactions, and relatively stable housing markets—these neighborhoods are victims of an urban information gap which undervalues their commercial potential. The importance of good information for private and public investments is widely acknowledged, but fragmented funding, lack of standards, and spotty data has impeded either effective or universal use of these tools. This paper sets forth seven steps for practitioners and investors to follow in investing in local community information initiatives and, in turn, close the urban information gap and accelerate investment in these markets.