Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Web site tracks sections of city



By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Finding information on how much money Cincinnati city leaders have invested in a neighborhood or the market value of real estate in a community soon will be just a click of the mouse away, thanks to a Web site created by a nonprofit agency.

The Neighborhood Indicators Project - a joint program of the city, Xavier University's Community Building Institute and the Local Initiatives Support Corp. - will track home ownership, population, crime rates, real estate values and other factors in the city's 52 neighborhoods. Starting today, residents and organizations can gain access to this information through the free Web site - www.lisc.org.

Renee Mahaffey Harris, Local Initiatives' program director, said the Web site is the culmination of nearly two years of data compilation. Harris said the goal was to create a database that everyone could quickly and easily access that would help gauge the health of neighborhoods.

"This is a starting point to help us get at the revitalization of neighborhoods," said Harris, who will make a presentation today before council's Neighborhoods Committee.

Councilman David Pepper, who introduced a motion in 2003 supporting the Neighborhood Indicators Project, said City Council would use the database to make more informed decisions on where to invest public dollars.

"I almost think of this as a report card on the health of individual neighborhoods," Pepper said.

Scott Merusi of Merusi Partners Inc., who helped develop the program, said the Web site would be updated throughout the year.

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E-mail kaldridge@enquirer.com




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