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Posted by Allegra East on Feb 20, 2017

IndyVitals Tool Nominated as Innovation of the Year for TechPoint 2017 Mira Awards

18th Annual Event Honors ‘the best of tech in Indiana’

IndyVitals–a digital neighborhood monitoring tool developed by The Polis Center at IUPUI in partnership with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development–has been nominated as Innovation of the Year for the 18th annual TechPoint Mira Awards presented by Angie’s List, Genesys, and Salesforce.

The Innovation of the Year Award category recognizes scientific achievements, the results of R&D efforts, and other trailblazing, market-disrupting new technologies. In particular, the technology-based innovations must have achieved a significant development milestone in 2016 and must have been primarily developed in Indiana.

TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s technology ecosystem, produces the Mira Awards each year to honor the most innovative and successful technologies and technology companies in Indiana, as well as entrepreneurs and educators. Nominees were selected by 50 independent subject matter experts who evaluated and ranked the applications. Winners will be announced during the annual Mira Awards gala at The Westin Indianapolis on April 29, 2017.

The Polis Center at IUPUI, applied for the TechPoint Mira Award Innovation of the Year category because the tool is proving to be a very useful solution for organizations from multiple sectors trying to make Indianapolis a great place to live and work. Based on the SAVI community information system, IndyVitals was created to address the challenge that various organizations have encountered in telling a common story about a particular Indianapolis neighborhood and making meaningful comparisons. Each entity sees a different version about a neighborhood from its perspective, which impacts the effectiveness of varied efforts to transform negative conditions into positive ones.

The true power of IndyVitals is its ability to coordinate actions of community partners through data. This consequently aligns diverse planning partners toward a common goal and better organizes municipal government using common “building blocks” of neighborhood geographies. The tool puts everyone on the same page, puts the data in a common framework, and simplifies access, revealing the areas of critical need and opportunity to guide more successful endeavors to develop and improve these communities.

For organizations involved in quality-of-life, social services, and economic development programming, the tool provides a common geographical approach that tells a single story. Innovation is also demonstrated by how viewers use the resulting data. The data that informs neighborhood vital indicators prompts new ways of thinking about how to solve some complex challenges, resulting in greater synergy in making Indianapolis a great place to live and work. For information on IndyVitals, visit its Nominee Page (http://bit.ly/2m0P0WE). We also encourage you to publicly vote for and share it. IndyVitals tool access is available at www.indyvitals.org.

“In just over a decade, Indiana has seen more than $6.5 billion in acquisitions and IPOs from our tech community. More recently, in 2016, two-thirds of all the venture capital dollars and three-quarters of all the deals raised in Indiana went to tech companies,” said TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier. “The Mira Awards exist to celebrate our state’s tremendous tech success stories and amplify them to media, investors and technology buyers nationwide.”

A complete list of the 2017 TechPoint Mira Awards nominees is available at www.techpoint.org/mira.

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Posted by Allegra East on Dec 13, 2016

Using Data to Inform the Conversation on Environmental Disparities in Indianapolis

hec_final_logo_cmyk-notaglineOn December 8, 2016, The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) convened several Indianapolis/Marion County stakeholders for a conversation on environmental disparities in Indianapolis. The Polis Center and the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health collaborated to present data to inform the conversation. Jay Smirat and Dr. Yi Wang with Fairbanks presented their work on the creation of an environmental index and maps to assess neighborhood vulnerability and environmental burden. Sharon Kandris, Director of  Community Informatics at the Polis Center at IUPUI, discussed the intersection of environmental burden and socio-economic indicators for identifying potential environmental justice concerns.

In addition, Dr. Paul Mullins, Professor in Anthropology at IUPUI, presented the history of Indianapolis neighborhoods and industry, and David Hirschl, City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, presented the state of the city’s work on environmental justice issues. Indra Frank, MD, MPH,  HEC Environmental Health Director, closed the presentation with policy options for urban environmental justice from other cities for consideration in our local context. The community conversation will continue in February and April 2017.

To view the presentation of SAVI’s socio-economic data, click here. The environmental burden data and other relevant maps via the Multi-Layer Data Community Action Tool (created by IU Fairbanks School of Public Health as part of its Healthy Environment and Community Assessment Partnership) are available at the HECAP website: www.HECAP.net

Established in 1986, the Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana’s leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies, protecting the forests, groundwater, and lakes throughout the state.  Its efforts seek solutions and alternatives to reduce the footprint of industry, commerce and agriculture on the environment.

 

 

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Posted by Allegra East on Nov 21, 2016

The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters

affordable-housing-report-cover-finalIndianapolis is routinely recognized as one of the more affordable regional housing markets in the nation. This relative affordability lies within the eye of the beholder as Indianapolis also fares relatively poorly in income inequality. To many low-and moderate-income households, the housing of their choice may be out of reach. Urban Analyst John Marron looks more deeply into this issue in the report, The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters, produced in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI for the SAVI community information system. The central theme of the report: affordable housing encompasses a broader range of economic issues than the price of a home.

In this report, we define the terms, affordable housing and subsidized housing, and explore the drivers and interrelatedness of each. We also look at general policy challenges in creating adequate affordable housing and the reason why it is a relevant policy goal, especially for low-income families. In addition, we provide a brief examination of policy options for local governments and civic leaders who have an interest in local and regional housing policy. All of this discussion is placed alongside relevant data for Central Indiana, Marion County, and Indianapolis.

Housing affordability is measured by the cost of housing relative to income. Solutions to make housing more affordable should include solutions oriented toward promoting the development of affordable housing as well as increasing the earning potential of low- and moderate-income families. Making housing cheaper allows households to afford housing; raising incomes allows households to better afford everything. Despite its reputation, Central Indiana can do better in helping its citizens become less cost-burdened by housing.

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