News & Updates

Researching Boston in 2011

Feb 02, 2012

Highlights: The development of MyNeighborhood Census Viewer, a user-friendly web-based tool, allows constituents to interact with results from the 2010 Census.  The user draws new map boundaries immediately accessing the area’s demographics, as well as the gender, ages, household characteristics, and housing occupancy.  The Viewer was presented at Reimagining the University-City Connection at Harvard University and at Geographic Information System (GIS) Day in City Hall.  The BRA continues to share this valuable tool with its residents. With the 2010 Census results, the Research Division created over 100 reports, and presented the data to the Massachusetts Municipal Mayors' Association, the Mayor's Office of Jobs and Community Services, the Boston Private Industry Council, and MetroBoston DataCommon’s Data Day. The Director of Research, Alvaro Lima, and Deputy Director of Research, Mark Melnik published an instructional article in Municipal Advocate, a publication of the Massachusetts Municipal Association further increasing the outreach of 2010 Census data.  Mr. Melnik, co-authored an article about the changing labor picture for those over 55 and its impact on labor trends in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Communities & Banking. The results of the 2010 Census data indicate that Boston has the highest proportion of young adults out of any major city in the U.S.  Mr. Melnik, discussed the Census results in a Onein3 Boston podcast, a resource connecting 20-34 year old young Boston professionals to examine the issues that affect their personal, economic, and professional development. The Research Division reflected on Boston’s economy in 2010 and presented the impact of the Census 2010 results on Boston’s neighborhood on Neighborhood News.  Mr. Lima gave "An Overview of Boston’s Population" describing Boston’s demographic changes to the Rappaport Institute's Advisory Board, and Mr. Melnik presented “How Can We Better Measure Return on Transportation Investments?" to the 2011 Transportation Research Board.  The Research Division was instrumental in the creation of the symposium, Reimagining the University-City Connection at Harvard University.  In partnership with the City’s Energy and Environmental Services Department and other cities focused on urban sustainability, the BRA Research Division created a model of a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Calculator to assess the economic, environmental, and social impact of strategic capital investments in municipalities. 2011 Publications Researching in Support of City Growth The Research Division fields data requests from various divisions in the BRA and the City of Boston, including speeches for Mayor Menino and Director Meade, as well as quick analyses related to economic development, demographic change, and housing.  The Division performed an economic analysis on the projected 50 year build out scenario for the Innovation District and developed grant proposals for the Economic Development Administration and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.  Additionally, the Research Division developed economic impact and job creation estimates for build out scenarios for parcels in Forest Hills, and began an extensive analysis of the proposed build out of eight parcels in the Dudley Square area.  These eight parcels will be a mix of residential, office, and retail uses and will add to the resident and daytime populations in the area, as well as address retail supply and leakage issues in the neighborhood.  This project will continue into 2012.  The Research Division will continue to analyze data for the Fairmount Indigo Corridor and Crossroads Planning Initiative. About the Research Division The BRA’s Research Division is an incredible resource used by City departments, non-profit organizations, local colleges and universities, residents, and the media.  The Division compiles and analyzes current, historical, and comparative data on Boston’s economy, population, and commercial markets.  

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