Name That Neighborhood

Projects across the country seek to definitively identify the names of city neighborhoods -- a process that's both difficult and important to local pride, according to those behind these efforts.
January 3, 2012, 2pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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One project in Indianapolis aims to better identify neighborhoods, and get people more connected with their communities in the process.

"Most residents couldn't come up with their neighborhood in a city that, according to information technologist and urban analyst Aaron M. Renn, has had a weak sense of neighborhood since the city and county governments consolidated into one unified entity about two decades ago.

Renn, though, along with a team of like-minded volunteers who've dubbed themselves Naplab, is trying to alter this trajectory. The crew of researchers and graphic designers just spent two years combing through documents and hashing out geographical quandaries to do something never attempted in the Indiana capital: map every square inch of land and assign neighborhoods across the entire city.

'There was a tremendous amount of research on neighborhoods that we went through,' Renn says. 'Where there weren't well-defined neighborhoods we created them it was a little rogue, guerrilla neighborhood naming, if you will. And when we were done we wanted to produce a high-quality graphic map to show the areas.'"

Thanks to Nate Berg

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Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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