Open Knowledge International

Open Baltimore

  • City of Baltimore
Open Baltimore

##The problem Gentrification, or the rampant increase in property value of lower and lower-middle class neighborhoods, is widespread throughout the United States and the rest of the developing world.

Whether displaced as a result of increased property taxes, steep rent hikes, or the intentional neglect of landlords, populations that have once lived in neighborhoods for decades are being systematically forced to move. Academics and local communities alike are debating the effects of gentrification. Yet, for any informed debate, there needs to be as comprehensive an understanding as possible.

It is difficult to fully realize the nature with which this displacement is occurring without a birdseye of the view of the phenomena. Gentrification is diffuse and, on an individual level basis, hard to identify and thus difficult to create public awareness of the issues and advocacy campaigns around them.In short, every awareness and advocacy needs a medium and method to construct messages that are accessible and impactful to the non-expert concerned citizen before any substantive change can occur.

The solution

Luckily, property taxation data, a very crucial datapoint through which to view the impacts of gentrification, is often provided by municipal and state government taxation departments. Mapped property taxation data allows one to quantify a hard-to-conceptualize phenomenon through visualization. Open data sets on housing prices and property taxes overtime can give a comprehensive view of the where, what, and how of gentrification.

The organization Open Baltimore uses data from the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation to filter through, visualize, and export data on city and state property taxes for all buildings in the city of Baltimore.

Data Used: Baltimore Property Tax Data Credit: Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

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