Who We Are

Polis (pōləs): city (Greek); a community characterized by a sense of making a difference for the greater good

The Polis Center–a unit in the IU School of Informatics and Computing-IUPUI—works with community partners in Indiana and beyond to develop innovative place-based policies and practices for healthier and more resilient communities. It supports disaster mitigation, population health management, community development, and quality-of-life efforts.

Polis experts use geospatial technologies to integrate, manage, and visualize the rapidly growing information on the places where we live and work. The center helps organizations understand gaps in service, trends, assets, and ways to build capacity. Its four areas of emphasis tackle specific problems that impact daily lives and influence actions and developments in each other.

The Polis Center is nationally recognized as a dynamic urban-centered, learning environment with highly professional staff who excel in partnerships, real-world application, and winning solutions for the communities. From inception, The Polis Center has been guided by core values that include: making a difference, collaboration, developing creative solutions to real-world problems, accountability, integrity, respect, and stewardship.

For more information, download our Polis Center general information brochure and Polis Center expertise flyer. Visit SAVI to learn more about the SAVI Community Information System, our project that is the nation’s earliest, largest, and most comprehensive system. It integrates data from more than 45 providers to provide an interactive, in-depth look at the Indianapolis MSA at scales from census tracts and neighborhoods to the region at large.

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Healthy Communities

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Knowledgeable Communities

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Resilient Communities

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Community & Culture

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Spatial Humanities

Further Information

Encyclopedia of Indianapolis

In 1994, we published a 1,600-page encyclopedia that provides a comprehensive social, cultural, economic, historical, political, and physical description of Indianapolis. It was hailed as a national model for urban encyclopedias. We developed an updated, digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, which launched November 2021. The web-based, free-access Encyclopedia of Indianapolis aims to be the major source of information on the city and region. Designated a legacy project of the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission, the digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is the hub of an innovative knowledge environment, linking resources from multiple organizations across desktop and mobile devices. It is highly visual, interactive, and dynamic.

Project on Religion and Urban Culture

We seek to understand the ways in which religion and community have shaped each other in greater Indianapolis. Using community-academic collaborations, our studies took place between 1996 – 2002 (RUC 1.0) and 2020 – 2022 (RUC 2.0). In so doing, we have compiled the largest collection of meaningful religious data ever gathered on one American city.