In 2001, the City of Philadelphia undertook a huge effort to address decades of decline in the city. Known as the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI), the program was designed to renew and strengthen Philadelphia’s urban neighborhoods through specific public action. To guide NTI’s strategy, the City contracted with TRF to conduct an in-depth analysis of the city’s neighborhoods and their market value. With this project, TRF, for the first time, applied its innovative Market Value Analysis (MVA). The ground-breaking data analysis was revolutionary in its design and detail and its results were noted in a variety of national journals and magazines including the New York Times to the Washington Post.
By developing a taxonomy of market types and linking the taxonomy to prioritization of public action (i.e. code enforcement, land assembly), TRF created a new kind of policy conversation regarding how government can best stimulate market forces in distressed neighborhoods. The Philadelphia MVA was designed to discover whether there were indeed areas of the city that share common housing market and population characteristics. The picture that emerged of the City served as a framework for its plan of action.
The Philadelphia MVA was able to reasonably reduce a vast amount of data on literally hundreds of thousands of properties and hundreds of areas down to a manageable, meaningful typology that is now helping Philadelphia’s government deliver area-appropriate programs and make informed decisions regarding the allocation of resources.
Since the MVA was first completed for Philadelphia, TRF has periodically reevaluated changes in data, tracking the effects of the City’s program on the specific neighborhoods.
Based on TRF’s analysis, six market clusters were identified for the City of Philadelphia. These maps depicts the market types for the city of Philadelphia in 2001 and 2003, with orange and red indicating markets in severe distress, and yellow indicates markets in transition.