Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project

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David Bartelt, Professor of Geography and Urban Studies

The Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project (MPIP) provides access to public data sets across a set of geographic scales for the use of community members and public interest organizations seeking quality information to address the needs of the communities of the greater Philadelphia area. MPIP collects and coordinates demographic, housing, economic, household, and public services data at the tract, municipality, zip code, school district, and legislative district levels. It also provides an interactive mapping platform, MetroPhilaMapper, that allows our users to develop custom maps and graphics that display the information needed to affect policy discussions and explore issues faced by their communities.

MPIP’s goal is to provide a source of dependable, usable data that the neighborhoods and communities of the greater Philadelphia region can access and use as they develop programs and policies that contribute to the well-being of its residents. Its information has been used to spark debates over tax policy, land use, transportation and educational success. Most recently, it has been a partner in identifying and strengthening the contributions of key sectors of the region’s base, especially “eds and meds”, cultural organizations, school reforms, and community based anti-crime programs. MPIP also continues to document the uneven impacts of housing foreclosures, poverty levels, employment opportunities, and health care provision. It updates its data sets on a regular basis, and has added several geographic layers to its data sets. It also generates both policy briefs and some technical assistance documents, especially regarding best use of data sets with complex methodologies, e.g. the American Community Survey.

MPIP provides a major source of data and on-line mapping for the communities of the region. It continues to work with one of the original Philadelphia partner organizations of NNIP, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). While MPIP is now the primary liaison with NNIP, it recognizes the contributions and efforts that TRF’s Policy Solutions provide to the communities of this and several other regions, including PolicyMap, found at

MPIP is a collaborative effort that involves several Temple faulty members, a project coordinator, a graduate assistant and several interns. The key staff members are liste below, with photos and brief bios.

Carolyn Adams, a faculty member in Geography and Urban Studies, is a political scientist who studies urban and metropolitan governance and policy. Her publications include a study of the impact of municipal investments on neighborhood housing values, as well as other books and articles about Philadelphia communities, both urban and suburban.  She works with non-profit organizations on issues ranging from education and services for children to community economic development.

David Elesh is a faculty member of the Department of Sociology whose work largely concentrates on the effects of industrial change on inequality. His publications include two collaboratively authored books on the development of the Philadelphia metropolitan since the end of World War II and a variety of articles of technological change and inequality. A major current project, in collaboration with colleagues in Criminal Justice, is an effort to predict crime rates and changes in crime rates for the municipalities of the Philadelphia metropolitan region.

Jason Martin is a research assistant at MPIP. He is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department at Temple University. His primary areas of study are urban sociology, the sociology of organizations, and the sociology of race. His dissertation research is on the role of arts and culture organizations in metropolitan areas.

David Bartelt
Professor of Geography and Urban Studies

The Reinvestment Fund

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Ira Goldstein, Director, Public Policy and Program Assessment
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Founded in 1985, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) is primarily a community development financial institution (CDFI). The Fund follows a wealth- building agenda for low- and moderate-income people through the strategic use of capital, information, and market/systems innovation. TRF works to alleviate poverty through financial support of affordable housing, community service organizations, small businesses, workforce development programs, and energy conservation projects. Its Public Policy and Program Assessment Department, headed by Ira Goldstein, conducts research into a broad array of economic development issues, including housing issues impacting on households and communities.

TRF’s portfolio of research includes: 1) creating and using impact assessment tools for the community and economic development industry; 2) building a model to analyze real estate markets in distressed cities and towns and translating that analysis into practical public resource allocation decisions; and 3) influencing housing and workforce investment decisions that affect TRF's service communities. Its work on community indicators resulted in a widely disseminated product, the Philadelphia Indicators Project CD-ROM (PIP). One of the project's goals is to broaden access to information regarding neighborhood profile data, the end result being a more effective and concerted neighborhood revitalization. Released in June 2002, PIP databases include property-based data and indicators on demographics, vital statistics, and housing. Data are available at the parcel level and/or census tract level; the software also allows users to aggregate units of measurement to create customized areas. More recently, it launched its national indicator and mapping effort, PolicyMap,

The Fund continues to use neighborhood-level data in research on issues as diverse as affordable housing, vacant land and building use, and access to credit. In a recent study, the Policy Department looked at the nature and impact of predatory lending in the Philadelphia mortgage market using data from Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program applications and the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office. The potential outgrowth of this research will be a multi-faceted approach to eliminating the threat of predatory lending to TRF's service community. It has taken the lead in developing assessments of foreclosure interventions in Philadelphia. Its work on Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative generated a method for neighborhood market value analysis, which has been applied in many cities as part of efforts to focus policies aimed at neighborhood revitalization. A complete listing of their analyses and many of their presentation can be found at TRF’s Resource Center,

Ira Goldstein
Director, Public Policy and Program Assessment


July 30, 2014
Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday announced a comprehensive strategy using data analysis, mapping technology and community engagement to empower Philadelphia’s leaders to craft policies... [read more]
2010 - 2013
MPIP assisted the Cultural Alliance to create a “Roadmap for Regional Activity Analysis” that inventoried existing partnerships, surveyed the education and outreach... [read more]
2010 - 2012
MPIP is providing data and mapping assistance to the ArtsRising project being implemented by a combination of arts and children’s organizations.  In conjunction with five Philadelphia... [read more]


June 4, 2013
Report - By: Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project

July 15, 2012
Job Description - By: The Reinvestment Fund

February 28, 2012
Report - By: Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project

January 2012
Report - By: Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project