Quality of Place reflects the vibrancy of the core county measured by population relative to surrounding areas. As this Deep Driver evolves–encompassing our urban environment, community equity, access to the arts, and community engagement–our goal is to retain 70% of the regional population and 60% of the regional job base within Louisville Metro.
Learn more about this metric.
The natural environment consists of Louisville’s land, air, and water. Louisville residents are particularly affected by air quality, which strongly affects childhood growth and development, those with asthma, and the elderly. Fine particulate matter, ozone, and many other chemicals reduce air quality and affect quality of life. The metric for the natural environment is air pollution, in which Louisville currently ranks 11th.
Built environment reflects the man-made infrastructure built to accommodate the needs of a community, including factors such as transit access and housing affordability. Built environment reflects the effectiveness of current urban policy and planning, particularly the flexibility of those efforts as the community continues to change. The metric for built environment is homeownership, in which Louisville currently ranks 7th.
The effects of poverty are not just on the wallet, but in every barrier to health and wellbeing. The multidimensional poverty index reflects the fact that individuals experience poverty in multiple forms: low income, poorer health, unemployment, low education, and living in a poor neighborhood. Measuring the economic inequities indicates the current economic accessibility and socio-economic investment opportunities. Using factors such as food accessibility, housing accessibility, and income disparity give a measure of the overall status of inequities in a community. The main metric for poverty and inequity is multidimensional poverty, in which Louisville currently ranks 15th.
A strong social and community support network can indicate the opportunities for community involvement and self-investment. Creating such support networks allows a community to thrive by investing in itself and empowering the community to take specific actions to address their community needs. Using factors such as volunteerism rates provides a general idea of the access to and involvement in community reinvestment. The main metric for compassion is volunteerism, Louisville currently ranks 14th.
The safety of a community can be measured as both subjective and objective, and includes ensuring a community is safe and that citizens feel safe in order to promote community engagement and economic involvement. Moreover, community safety encourages investment opportunities and increases the worth of properties, resulting in net economic gains. Factors like violent crime rates and injury related death rates allow for an examination of the safety of a specific community. The main metric for safety is violent crime, on which Louisville currently ranks 8th.
For each indicator, Greater Louisville Project assigns cities into one of three groups (high-performing, middle-of-the-pack, and low-performing) based on how they compare to other cities. The assignment is based on how cities naturally cluster on that indicator. Sometimes, the differences between cities are very small, and the difference between a city ranked 5th and 6th could simply be a matter of the sampling error that arises from using survey data. Thus, rather than always make a division that declares the top 5 to be the top tier, we use a natural breaks algorithm to look for a cluster of cities that is outperforming the rest, a cluster that is about average, and a cluster that is lagging. This clustering gives us a better indication of where Louisville is thriving and where Louisville has room to learn from cities that are doing better.
Z-scores (or standardization) is a way to combine data with different units of measurement into a single index. The z-score is a measure of how far away a city (or census tract, etc.) is from the average city. In order to be comparable across different units of measurement, the z-score is the distance from the mean measured in standard deviations (e.g. if Louisville has a z-score of 1 it means Louisville is 1 standard deviation above the mean of its peer cities).
Data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's County Health Rankings use z-scores and all z-scores are relative to the mean of Louisville's peer cities. (On the County Health Rankings site z-scores are relative to all the counties in each state - thus z-scores reported by GLP will be different, because we are using a different reference group). The Greater Louisville Project also uses z-scores in our multidimensional poverty index, which compares each census tract to the mean of all census tracts in Louisville.