IndyVitals, a new digital neighborhood monitoring tool for Marion County that is powered by SAVI, debuted June 7 to mark the City of Indianapolis’ official community-wide unveiling of its Bicentennial Plan.
The Polis Center developed IndyVitals for Plan 2020, the city-planning initiative that includes representatives from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the Department of Metropolitan Development, the Department of Public Works, the Indy Chamber, and other community leaders.
“Plan 2020 is the name of the Bicentennial Planning process for Indianapolis and Marion County that involves the creation of a broad, values-based vision, a set of actions steps that partners have committed to completing by the city’s Bicentennial in 2020, and updates to six technical city plans,” said Brad M. Beaubien, AICP, Administrator for Long Range Planning, Department of Metropolitan Development, City of Indianapolis-Marion County.
The tool is one of the four main elements of the city’s bicentennial plan (the other elements are the agenda, the plan, and engagement evaluation). It will help organize the Plan 2020 endeavor and monitor the impact of the blueprint within neighborhoods so that Plan 2020 members can determine if the results match the desired outcome.
IndyVitals captures information within various categories such as education, health, and poverty from exact geographies within Marion County, which–when coupled with existing SAVI community information system profiles–promotes coordination of strategies and services. Viewers can access high-level metrics and/or detailed data about specific neighborhoods, interact with detailed data on each neighborhood, and explore patterns and trends in these neighborhoods. The dashboard is very user-friendly and, at a glance, gives the viewer a thumbnail sketch of what is going on in the neighborhood and how it compares to others over particular time periods. The tool is free to use and will be useful to other organizations in Marion County beyond the Plan 2020 team.
Beaubien commented “The Plan 2020 vision lays out how Indy can be a healthier, more resilient, more inclusive, and more competitive city, and the action steps are intended to implement that vision. As our community development system evolves from a peanut-butter approach, where we spread limited resources evenly everywhere, to the point it’s too thin to taste, IndyVitals will allow all community development partners to look at a neighborhood, see the same story, and respond to the specific needs of each neighborhood in a way that is much more targeted and more relevant to the needs of residents. In this way it’s not only a way to measure the progress of our collective impact partnership, it’s a way to coordinate the actions of the collective partners through data.”
“Plan 2020 isn’t just about action. It’s about impact,” continued Brooke Thomas, AICP, Deputy Director, Plan 2020 Co-Manager, The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. “Even if every single action step was completed, Plan 2020 wanted to be able to measure if neighborhoods across the city were improving as a result. IndyVitals is intended to help answer that question while also improving the coordination of all those in the private, public, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors working at the neighborhood level to make investments that are most relevant to the diverse needs of neighborhoods across our city. Measuring the impact of Plan 2020 and coordinating collective-impact investments: these are the two drivers of IndyVitals.”