largely an urban phenomenon,10 but it is the product of social and economic processes working at the metropolitan and regional level (Brockerhoff, 2000; Lichter and Crowley, 2002; Orfield, 1997). These processes include middle-class flight, dis-investment in inner city areas, and poverty concentration. Moreover, they involve factors such as access to transportation, jobs, and social services that are also effectively addressed at the regional level. For example, research shows that poverty is less concentrated if low-income housing is provided in a desirable location, if training and job placement programs are provided for low-income households, and if a critical mass of non-subsidized units is maintained in the area especially for an intermediate income range (Brophy and Smith, 1997).

The charge to the committee and the principal aim of this report is to provide perspective and guidance to the PD&R about current and future GIS research and applications and to provide strategic direction for HUD. Since HUD does not operate in isolation, the committee also considered the network of people who use HUD’s data for policy and research purposes. This group includes professors and students at colleges and universities, policy makers and analysts working for local governments, HUD program managers and research scientists, and neighborhood leaders and residents employed by community-based organizations. The committee heard presentations from and interviewed representatives from public, non-profit, and private sector groups at the national, state, and local levels (Appendices B and C). In addition, committee deliberations were informed by contributions from a wide variety of participants (Appendix A) in a workshop held at the National Academies on April 25-27, 2001 (Appendix B).

Chapter 2 discusses HUD’s responsibility for providing accurate and relevant data on urban and community issues and identifies the development of national urban framework data layers as an appropriate goal for the agency. Chapter 3 examines programs and tools for disseminating information to a range of clients and partners in urban and housing policy arenas. Chapter 4 outlines a research agenda for PD&R that can support HUD’s mission. Chapter 5 discusses the role of partnerships for carrying out research and providing information for urban and community planning in the United States and abroad. The committee’s conclusions and recommendations to HUD for its urban and housing data and research agenda are detailed throughout the chapters.


In 1998, in the United States, urban poverty was 12.3 percent compared with 14.4 percent for rural areas, but because the population is 75 percent urban, there are more urban than rural poor in the United States (Brockerhoff, 2000).

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