Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Urisa Journal


This paper describes and analyzes an application of a geographic information system (GIS) to create a profile of environmental hazards and resources in an older, inner-city neighborhood in Cleveland. The client, a community development organization, sought the profile as the basis of new organizing and community planning efforts concerning environmental quality and environmental health issues. The objective was to obtain and assemble spatially referenced environmental data existing in the public domain and map that data according to the service area of a neighborhood-based development organization. The study describes and analyzes the utility and data management capacity issues that would likely be experienced by community-based organizations using GIS in applications at the neighborhood level. This paper describes and analyzes the use of GIS to develop a profile of environmental conditions in an urban neighborhood. The project client was a community-based organization (CBO) seeking a baseline set of environmental information displayed spatially. This information would serve as a basis for community planning to develop strategies to address environmental quality concerns in the neighborhood. The author designed the project to result in a product useful for the client, to explore the issues raised in relevant literature, and to generate working hypotheses for a broader study of the use of GIS by CBOs to address environmental quality issues. The purpose of this paper is to examine the application of GIS at the neighborhood scale by and for a CBO. Through this examination one can understand better the obstacles and opportunities to make GIS a more relevant and effective technology for use by and for CBOs as GIS projects diffuse into broader society.

Original Citation

Kellogg, W. A. (June 06, 1999). From the field: Observations on using GIS to develop a neighborhood environmental information system for community-based organizations. Urisa Journal, 11, 1, 15-32.