Mapping Assets for Community Development

By Aaron Goodman, Community Engagement Manager, Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD)

The ability to access and utilize accurate data is critical to so many of our efforts in community development and revitalization. Information about that various factors that impact neighborhoods and the organizations working in them help to tell their story and make the case for community-based investment and capacity building. In Detroit, the demand and use of data that describes neighborhood conditions and investment of resources has grown substantially in recent years, however it can still be a challenge to know and understand the scope of the multitude of organizations who are doing vital on the ground work to build and maintain vibrant and healthy communities.


An Opportunity to Discover and Connect Detroit Assets

In order to better understand the depth of neighborhood organizational capacity in Detroit neighborhoods, Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) is excited to launch the Detroit Community Organization Mapping Project (d[COM]munity)! d[COM]munity is a comprehensive web-based map and directory that displays the locations and activities of community development organizations (CDO), block clubs and other neighborhood organizations in the City of Detroit. Neighborhood groups, community development organization, and block clubs will be able to submit their information through an online survey to and put themselves on the d[COM]munity map. The interactive map is accompanied by a full profile where users can learn about the organization including contact information, mission, and highlighted activities.

d[COM]munity Leading the Way for Collaboration in Detroit

Neighborhoods and communities are complex places with many actors and activities and it can be an overwhelming challenge for organizations and residentCDAD-July-Meeting-43s to have a clear picture of what is going on and how to connect with other groups. d[COM]munity addresses the absence of a comprehensive, centralized source for information about Detroit’s community based resources and neighborhood initiatives. We envision that this exciting and unprecedented effort will lead to better collaboration and coordination of efforts among residents, community organizations, government agencies, non-profit resource providers and funders.

Dig Into Neighborhood Data Challenges at Destination: Vibrant Communities

The upcoming Destination: Vibrant Communities professional development conference will provides a great opportunity to dig in to neighborhood data challenges and learn about d[COM]munity and other complimentary efforts. Join us at the session: “Using mapping and open-data sharing to build capacity for neighborhood-level revitalization and learn about the efforts of organizations and activists in Detroit using online platforms and map-making technology to break down silos, build new partnerships and democratize knowledge about Detroit neighborhoods and the community-based organizations working to improve them.

This session will feature presentations on d[COM]munity as well as Michigan Community Resources’ Neighborhood-Exchange, an online hub for networking, learning and resource sharing and #maptimeDetroit which seeks to help everyone learn how to make maps and become literate map readers through hands-on exploration and map creation using mapping tools and technologies. Additionally, you will learn about the work of Data Driven Detroit to make neighborhood level data more accessible and useable as a tool for your community development work!

We hope you can join us at this session and the whole exciting line up for Destination: Vibrant Communities. Register today!