healthyplan.la

Los Angeles rolls out interactive neighborhood health profiles covering everything from crime stats to obesity rates.

Two years ago, we would have celebrated the city that published all of its crime stats on an open, interactive platform, or the city that made it easy for residents to track where vehicle collisions most commonly occur, or the city that recognized the link between childhood obesity rates and access to parks.

We're not too impressed by any of that any more. As the open data movement has matured, public city-wide vital stats have come to feel more like a citizen's right than a civic innovation. This is where things should head next: Take all of that data, map it, connect the dots between public health, land use, economics, education, crime and housing. And portray those patterns – and the inequality they often reveal – down to the neighborhood level.

Los Angeles has recently done just this, rolling out a web tool as part of its Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles that maps a tremendous number of metrics about life in the region, at both the city and neighborhood scales. Just a sampling of the dozens of metrics, via the portal from the L.A. Department of City Planning, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and The California Endowment:

Much of the data comes from the Health Atlas [PDF] the city released earlier this year, which made clear that life expectancies, for example, varied considerably across town. In an interactive mapping tool, however, that same information is now much more accessible, and can be viewed city-wide or by neighborhood:

There are inevitably a million smaller stories in all this data (in addition to the larger lesson for city governments elsewhere). And we can imagine this tool put to use by researchers and would-be residents alike. If you live in L.A., or just happen to geek out on civic data, let us know what you might do with this.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of couples dancing in a park.
    Life

    The Geography of Online Dating

    When looking for love, most people don’t look far from home. That's what a big-data analysis of interactions on a dating site revealed.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
    Design

    Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

    Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.

  4. Maps

    Mapping Where Traffic Pollution Hurts Children Most

    Research shows nearly one in five childhood asthma cases were caused by traffic-related air pollution.

  5. South Lake Union streetcar with an advertisement for Amazon passes by an Amazon office building.
    Equity

    Amazon’s Slow Retreat From Seattle

    Amazon has long fancied itself an urban enterprise. Is its pivot to smaller communities a way to avoid messy politics?