Links and Sources

Links for the Community

Better Together
The result of a multi-year dialogue led by Robert D. Putnam with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, this site and book focus on increasingly building bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities.

CEO for Cities
The “US initiative” explores five critical city issues over the course of five public events.

CityForward is a free, web-based platform that enables users (city officials, researchers, academics, and interested citizens world-wide) to view and interact with city data while engaging in an ongoing public dialogue.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance
This non-profit’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models, and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
The IMLS created this groundbreaking study demonstrating library use over time.

Mapping Main Street
Mapping Main Street is a collaborative documentary media project that creates a new map of the country through stories, photos, and videos recorded on actual Main Streets.

National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program
This program works to revitalize Main Streets across America.

New Rules Project
The New Rules Project reports on new census data showing the growth of chain stores vs. independent retail.

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs.

Project for Public Spaces
A nonprofit planning, design, and educational organization, PPS has been helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities for over 35 years.

Supersize It: The Growth of Retail Chains and the Rise of the "Big Box" Retail Format
This paper documents and explains the recent rise of "big box" general merchandisers.

A Tale of Two Disney Main Streets
This Los Angeles Times story contrasts the real and the imagined Main Streets in Southern California’s iconic Disneyland.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
THis USDA webpage shows the rise of farmers markets in the U.S.

Links and Sources

Center for Neighborhood Technology Housing and Transportation Index
Americans traditionally consider housing affordable if it costs 30 percent or less of their income. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, in contrast, offers the true cost of housing based on its location by measuring the transportation costs associated with place.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Hosts a range of data from this government agency on aging, workplace, obesity and life expectancy.

Community Health Status Indicators
Run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this site provides an overview of key health indicators for local communities and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve a community’s health.
The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. There are thousands and thousands of data sets on this site from across government agencies.

Data Driven Detroit
Data Driven Detroit (D3) provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making to strengthen communities in Southeast Michigan.

Food Environment Atlas
Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this site explores food and environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—to see how they interact to influence food choices and diet quality.

This website displays a collection of government data on demographics, agriculture, climate and transportation.

Walkshed New York
Walkshed New York uses an advanced methodology to calculate and map walkability in New York City.

Walkshed Philadelphia
Wakshed Philadelphia measures the walkability of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ranks the walkability of the top 40 cities in the United States.