Why Neighborhoods—and the Policies that Shape Them—Matter

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a blog post featuring a discussion of the Child Opportunity Index. This post explores why policies that shape neighborhoods affect the children who live there.

The Child Opportunity Index (COI) measures and maps the quality of resources and conditions that matter for children to develop in a healthy way in the neighborhoods where they live, comparing neighborhood opportunity for children across the United States; unlike similar tools that are retrospective, this tool uses contemporary data to measure and map all 72,000 neighborhoods in the United States.

Main features of the Child Opportunity Index 2.0:

  •  First single, consistent metric of contemporary child neighborhood opportunity
  •  Complete national coverage: provides data for nearly all U.S. neighborhoods (about 72,000)
  •  Comprehensive: includes 29 indicators across three opportunity domains: education, health and environment, social and economic
  •  Longitudinal: available for 2010 and 2015, allowing comparisons over time

This short video shows how Albany, NY, used the index to make sure everyone, particularly children in low-opportunity neighborhoods, could access parks and playgrounds in the city.

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