This blog will be dedicated to examining and promoting civic data in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
WBEZ is partnering with the Smart Chicago Collaborative to promote civic data. This blog will be part of that collaboration.
We'll post original data sets @OpenSocrata
data.gov is down during the government shutdown.
Data Suggest: WBEZ’s data blog occasionally highlights outside commentary and articles on data and their effects on the Chicago community. Submit your own item (here).
Limited access to mortgage credit in some neighborhoods is one of the lingering legacies of the housing crisis. In our work at the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul, we consider mortgage activity one of several valuable indicators of the health of a neighborhood housing market, and we map and measure this type of activity for a variety of Cook County geographies regularly. Our work involves not just closely examining the spatial patterns of this type of activity at certain points in time, but also looking at it over time in order to see patterns and trends.
The image above shows recent mortgage originations in two different neighborhood housing markets in Cook County: on the left, the Village of Oak Park, and on the right, the City of Chicago’s Austin Community Area. The line separating them is Austin Boulevard, the City’s municipal border. The blue-colored parcels represent residential mortgages originated between the third quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
Mortgage activity is a valuable indicator of the overall health of a neighborhood’s housing market. Today, given the current, tight credit environment, access to credit represents the willingness of lending institutions to finance the acquisition and rehab of homes, as well to allow current homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates. However between 2005 and 2007, high levels of subprime mortgage lending were actually an indicator of community instability. Areas with the highest levels of subprime mortgage activity were also most heavily hit by the destabilizing effects of concentrated foreclosure activity.
The New York Times recently published a provocative piece on upward mobility in the United States, which indicated that it’s harder for the poor to succeed, according to a new exhaustive study.
Chicago Magazine followed suit with their own take from a Chicago angle.
And on Monday, Gawker did their own take, focusing on mass transit and its effects on the ability for the poor to succeed in cities geared toward cars.
On Monday, we put out a map that color-coded all the building structures in Chicago by year built, utilizing city data.
That map was fun, but we wanted to explore the idea of transit. (See map above) While this is not a formal data analysis, it is striking to see urban structures built from 1990-2012, as juxtaposed onto the mass transit lines (CTA). See map below — or REALLY BIG map here.
A couple things to note:
White: CTA “L” lines | Green: Buildings from ’90s | Pink: Buildings from 2000s
Curious to see what others think. Tweet me @ChicagoEl
But other than some serious eye-candy, what’s going on here? We’re basically providing a slow-mo glimpse of urban sprawl: how Chicago grew over almost two hundred years, and where it’s currently growing.
Chicago got its new senior geek on Wednesday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel nominated a new chief information officer and commissioner for the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT).
The nominee, Brenna Berman, is currently the acting commissioner and served as first deputy under her predecessor Brett Goldstein.
View Fulton Market Streetscape in a larger map
Google confirmed on Thursday that it’s moving into the West Loop.
Some have noted that it’ll be one block from the new Morgan St. Green Line “L” station.
Google may have an eye for Chicago real estate.
The area could be pegged for a round of development as the city is planning to also renovate their street, according to city data obtained by WBEZ.
A Freedom of Information Act request into the city’s streetscapes projects revealed where the city has done street and sidewalk renovations since the ’90s. The data also revealed several projects in the planning stages, which include a proposed streetscape for Fulton Market between Morgan and Ogden.
Previous city streetscapes features have included enhanced or new street lighting, sidewalk expansions, bike lanes, flower beds and pedestrian benches to name a few.