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The Network’s Picks: Maps for Neighborhood Change

This blog series features our favorite maps, infographics, and videos that highlight the relationship between neighborhoods and health. Tell us what you think and share your own favorites @BHPNetwork.

We’ve shared maps that make the case for why ZIP code matters for health. But how have local communities used maps to catalyze neighborhood improvements? The Communities of Opportunity initiative (COO) shows us how.

A joint effort of the Seattle Foundation, the Seattle/King County Department of Public Health, and the King County Department of Community Health and Human Services, COO is premised in the idea that addressing upstream social determinants is critical to addressing health, and that data is the key to driving action.

Why We Like It: These neighborhood-level health maps were the product of inter-agency coordination among COO partners. But it didn’t end there. As noted by Dr. David Fleming, former Director of the Seattle/ King County Department of Health, “in the absence of action today, we are condemning our children to be looking at that same map.”

These maps then informed the COO’s grant program, which targeted investments in King County’s communities of greatest need. Since 2014, COO has invested $1.5 million in organizations specifically aimed at reducing neighborhood-level health disparities through housing, food access initiatives, transit-oriented development, and other place-based strategies.

Where You Can Find it: Read more about how these maps drove local actions in What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute. View recent health maps and learn about the COO’s latest progresses on the King County Community and Human Services website. Revisit the Network’s August 2015 live online discussion for Dr. David Fleming’s firsthand insights on the power of data and the value of cross-sector collaboration.

What Maps Click For You? What maps have helped you show the relationship between neighborhoods and health? Share your own @BHPNetwork #mapsthatclick.

 

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These maps show census-tract level health disparities among King County adults. Dark red shows areas with highest rates; dark blue shows tracts with lowest rates.

See more of our favorite maps and mapping tools:

The Power of Maps, July 16, 2015
The Power of Maps, Continued, July 30, 2015
#MapsThatClick, August 10, 2015
Mapping Child Opportunity, August 27, 2015
Mapping Residential Displacement and Gentrification, September 29, 2015
Mapping Social Determinants of Health, Nov 5, 2015
Mapping Community Health, Dec 8, 2015

About the Author

Joshua Fisher

Joshua Fisher was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. He then attended UCLA, where he received his BS in Biology. Josh does research for the Build Healthy Places Network, where he is fulfilling his field study for his MPH at Touro University California. He will receive his MPH at the end of the year. At Touro, he is studying the effect of Subjective Social Status on a variety of health outcomes with Dr. Miranda Weintraub, Dr. Nancy Adler (UCSF) and Dr. Aric Prather (UCSF). He has also started coursework for a second masters, in biomedical imaging from UCSF with an expected graduation of August 2016.