As Indianapolis embarks on a yearlong celebration of its bicentennial, the Polis Center at IUPUI—in collaboration with The Indianapolis Public Library and several major Indianapolis cultural and heritage institutions and organizations—is developing a bicentennial legacy project: a digital version of the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.
The global pandemic dominated our attention in FY2020, at least since its arrival in the U.S. in early spring. In concert with the university and community, we responded with initiatives that addressed the challenges it posed, including the problems of racial, social, and economic inequalities that it revealed. This work, although spurred by the pandemic, was not new to us. Rather, it allowed Polis to use its information and analytical capabilities to new ends.
Indianapolis is now at the intersection of a health pandemic, an economic crisis, and a racial equity crisis. Foundations, government, and nonprofits are making rapid decisions about where to allocate funding and resources to support those most impacted. Data is critical to identifying with precision where those resources are needed most to address the immediate needs of residents. It also can inform a longer-term community-wide strategy to address the underlying causes, disparities, and inequities and challenges we face as a community in the coming months and years. In this report, we identify the areas in Indianapolis most affected by COVID-19, particularly those already disproportionately affected by poverty; define some of the challenges families in these areas are facing; and explore ways inequity plays a role in the risk, outcomes, and impact. We highlight trends across Indianapolis and focus on two areas in the county experiencing growing poverty and a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 – the Northeast and Northwest areas. First, we take a look at the timeline for COVID-19 in Indianapolis.
The Polis Center is physically moving from its longtime home on Waterway Boulevard to the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) Sept. 8-10. Polis officially moved from the School of Liberal Arts to SoIC as of July 1, which positions IUPUI to serve constituencies more effectively in community-based information and analysis, enhances IUPUI’s leadership and application of technology in collaborative and creative solutions for healthier and more resilient communities,
Polis has launched The Diabetes Impact Project (DIP-IN) Community Profiles about the three focus neighborhoods involved in this project: Northeast, Northwest, and Near West. These community dashboards empower communities and community health workers to understand the context of their neighborhood.
The Polis Center at IUPUI has received the Indiana Geographic Information Council’s (IGIC) Special Achievement in GIS Award for the SAVI Coronavirus Data Hub. IGIC President Kari Hicks says, “Given the impact of COVID-19, using GIS to create a dashboard to help inform data-driven decision making is an excellent and timely use of GIS technology.” The award, announced during the 2020 IGIC Virtual Conference on Sept. 30, recognizes special geospatial projects developed through teamwork that demonstrate commitment to working with others in the Indiana GIS community toward a common goal, while performing important, often pioneering work, to create an outstanding information resource.