Visioning a Nationwide Infrastructure for Community Statistics Community Statistical Systems Network May 27, 2004    (1HF)

Participant Profile    (1HG)

Name(s): Pari Sabety    (1HH)

Organization: Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, Brookings Institution    (1HI)

Title: Urban Markets Initiative    (1HJ)

Nature of Effort:    (1HK)

___ system for on-line delivery of nationwide local area data to individual users ___ tabular data ___ mapped data geographic units (e.g., states, counties, places) include: primary data sets include:    (1HL)

___ tool to assist national and local data intermediaries in accessing and organizing data sets for inclusion in on-line statistical systems    (1HM)

_xx_ development of applications, technologies, or standards to aid in the above    (1HN)

_xx__ other: Support development of new data access tools and “next generation” data infrastructure to make data on urban markets that enhance the ability of local groups to access and use neighborhood market data to facilitate and incentivize investment in U.S. cities.    (1HO)

Current Status: xx_ in operation ___ under construction ___ in planning, in conceptual development, under consideration    (1HP)

URL:    (1HQ)

Purpose and Audience (Ends):    (1HR)

The mission of the Urban Markets Initiative is to address the market imperfections resulting from the urban information gap: inaccurate or incomplete information on urban areas. It will address these issues by intervening at strategic points to:    (1HS)

· Make urban data transparent and accessible: Address the need for easily understood and usable information portraying the unique characteristics of urban areas that will allow their residents, business, industry, government and community-based organizations to make market decisions that will benefit urban areas. · Build healthy urban communities: Leverage information used by urban residents, businesses and community organizations to build a robust urban investment climate, a vibrant labor market and provide urban residents with strong connections to the economic mainstream.    (1HT)

Brief Description (Means):    (1HU)

Two program components of UMI’s work are most relevant to this group:    (1HV)

· Pilot Projects: UMI is funding pilot projects in the field to develop innovative information tools that extend and improve the efficiency of markets so that they better include inner city areas and their residents. The goal of these projects is to create replicable models for using information to drive market investment and build individual, family and community assets. In the recently completed round of funding, one project is a “test case” of the potential of establishing systemic shared federal-local partnerships in community data. In cooperation with Census, the project will show how metadata must be structured, the processes and tools required to fuse heterogeneous datasets and the speed with which topical interfaces across content domains can be constructed.    (1HW)

· Federal Information Agenda: Given the preponderance of Federal data of interest to investors that move urban markets, UMI will act as a champion for the accessibility and usability of federal, state and local data that can identify inner-city business opportunities and promote business development and thriving urban markets. UMI will work closely with public, private and nonprofit leaders to advocate implementation of open data policies, long term data sharing agreements and other methods to open access to government data for researchers, neighborhood developers, practitioners, and industry experts.    (1HX)

Brief Narrative of History, Current Status, Plans:    (1HY)

The Brookings Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy launched the Urban Markets Initiative (UMI) with funding from Living Cities, Inc. in March 2003. Their belief was that the Urban Markets Initiative is critical to the future of America’s cities because information is a critical component of today’s market-based economy. It drives market patterns on business location, private investment and product development. It has become the key lever by which firms lower costs, boost productivity, and communicate in enterprises, whether they are local specialty retail stores or far-flung global project teams and sourcing networks. It drives consumer decisions on housing, employment and transportation. And it shapes national policy debates on issues as diverse as welfare, workforce and financial services. In all of these cases, firms, retailers, consumers, government, workers, residents, and community-based organizations use information to make thousands of investment decisions every day.    (1HZ)

The growing importance of information in high performance, efficient markets places urban areas at a distinct disadvantage. Cities, urban neighborhoods, their businesses and residents generally do not have access to information that is timely, reliable, and accessible as they make investment decisions. This urban information gap means that the assets of low-income people and neighborhoods frequently go unrecognized and untapped. Site-location firms, for example, consistently undervalue the purchasing power and retail potential of inner city neighborhoods. Mayors, community development corporations and others miss opportunities to use federal investments to connect local residents to the financial mainstream and strengthen family incomes.    (1I0)

The Urban Markets Initiative will seek to close this urban information gap. By working closely with government agencies and private and nonprofit leaders, it will:    (1I1)

· Build a compelling intellectual case for the potential to overcome under-investment and drive positive change in urban markets by providing access to information that is timely, reliable and complete. · Create replicable models for using information to drive market investment and build individual, family and community assets through demonstrations and pilot projects. · Make data on the assets of urban neighborhoods transparent and accessible.    (1I2)

UMI will unify fragmented urban information initiatives that will take them to scale and maximize their impact in urban communities across the U.S.    (1I3)

Relevant Background Documents (with URLs, if available):    (1I4)

Contact information:    (1I5)

Pari Sabety, Director Urban Markets Initiative Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington DC 20036-2188    (1I6) T: 202 797 4397 F: 202 797 2965    (1I7)