Finding Place in Making Connections Communities

Applying GIS to Residents’ Perceptions of Their Neighborhoods

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation; The Urban Institute

January 6, 2010


For policymakers, funders and front-line professionals, this report describes how to involve residents in place-based strategies that address the needs of disadvantaged children and families. Despite growing recognition that place matters, defining neighborhoods as they are experienced by residents is challenging; this report shows how to engage residents in defining common spaces by using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and data from 10 Making Connections sites.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Neighborhood Identity Leads to Engagement

When residents of disadvantaged communities have a say in defining and naming their neighborhoods – with the help of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and household data – they tend to become more engaged in solving neighborhood problems.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations