3 map-based tech tools perfect for neighborhoods and housing authorities

3 map-based tech tools perfect for neighborhoods and housing authorities

There’s so much information available about neighborhoods, but getting your hands on pertinent, useful data that can help you is not always easy. Good, concise insights about relevant factors—economic performance, wellbeing of the population and where businesses are located, for example. Fortunately, there are tech tools that can help.

1. Citiesense

Citiesense is a map-based platform designed to enable communities to access, manage, and share information about specific areas in their city. This connects Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), real estate professionals, city agencies and small business owners to high-quality local information.

A key perk of using this platform is that it provides users with what our friends at Citiesense call a Neighborhood Knowledge Platform™. In other words, business district communities can collaborate around a shared hub for information about how their neighborhood is doing. This includes:

  • where demand for spaces is heading
  • vacancy rates for existing areas
  • available lots for specific use such as residential apartments or office locations

Drill-down capabilities

The platform brings together data that a range of professionals will find useful for researching different locations. But a unique thing about Citiesense is that it is specifically designed to help non-profits operating and managing commercially active areas in cities improve their workflows and better serve their small business communities. Users can access, manage, and share information for specific areas in a city, a district, a single block, or a neighborhood-sized area.  Additionally, users can also generate their own data. Anyone with a Citiesense account can be data owner. This means that they can add their own data to what is already available on a City Map.

There are four main categories:

  1. property details
  2. land use
  3. market activity
  4. socio-economic/demographic data

With such localized knowledge, communities can improve their operations and attract people to want to live, work, and play in their neighborhoods. This enables businesses and investors to make demand and supply decisions such as where, what, and when to improve properties and buildings.

Source: Long Island City Partnership

Development activity at a glance

Our friends at the Long Island City Partnership (LICP) use Citiesense to provide a visual, map-based story of how their neighborhood is evolving and where opportunities exist. In this way, the LICP set themselves apart by making local data about development activity easily available. Businesses can see real time growth and make informed decisions about a particular area. They can then decide if that space will be economically viable as an investment spot. One particularly timely example of this is Amazon choosing Long Island City for one of the two new HQ2 locations.

Visitors to the LICP website can look up the number of active businesses by business category along a street or by block.

Visit Citiesense

2. NeighborhoodScout

This tool is a good guide for businesses, investors, and realtors looking to set up shop in any neighborhood. It provides crime statistics and other important local data to enable communities to decide if development of a particular district would be feasible.

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Users can check out the neighborhood’s overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and property crime rate. They can also compare this to the rates in other cities, to states, and to the national average. Users can even find out about crime in the neighborhood and compare that with the city and the state odds.

What is unique about this tech tool is that you can create a custom search for a new neighborhood. Identify a neighborhood that meets your qualifications, and the tool will find comparable neighborhoods in any other state.

Detailed data and reports come with a fee.

Visit NeighborhoodScout

3. Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) tools

Source: CNT tools

Businesses, neighborhoods and communities can use CNT’s set of tech tools to inform their decision making. AllTransit™ shows transit connectivity, access, and frequency data in the U.S. It can be used to enhance service and operations planning. CNT is a nonprofit that conducts research and analysis, tests new ideas, and develops practical applications that can be used by policy makers and private enterprise.

Another useful tool is the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which provides a comprehensive view of affordability, including both the cost of housing and the cost of transportation at the neighborhood level.

Visit CNT Tools

At the end of the day, such tech tools personalize the journey for businesses and investors, with data and insights to help them understand the local neighborhood for commercial, residential and retail opportunities.

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Melanie Grano

Melanie is a storyteller, with a burning desire to dig deep into all things marketing related. When you "love what you do, you never work a day in your life."

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