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Crime, housing, education, economic development, substance abuse --these are not isolated problems, that happen in a vacuum. They are all interrelated, and all part of the complex mix of things that make a neighborhood a good place to live, work, play, raise children --or a not-so-good-place.

The best solutions to the problems facing our neighborhoods are based on collaboration. When police, business owners, residents, educators, other government officials, and academic researchers recognize those interrelationships, and form partnerships to address them, the results are strategies that build strong neighborhoods for the long haul.

The federal government has recognized the importance of collaborative problem-solving. The Milwaukee COMPASS Project is a federally-funded initiative that aims to build and support collaborative efforts to improve and sustain cities.

The idea behind COMPASS is quite simple: a community can collaborate better, if it has a better picture of how problems and opportunities are really interrelated. Basically, shared data is integral to good collaboration and problem-solving.

The power of shared data, combined with the leading-edge technologies of the Internet and geographical information systems will serve to:
  • Empower individual citizens by informing them of trends and services being provided in their neighborhoods (see Public Applications);
  • Help connect community groups to each other and to government agencies;
  • Give government agencies a richer data source to help them understand conditions in Milwaukee's neighborhoods, and how they can best work to improve them.
  • Provide researchers with a one-stop-shop for data (or at least the first place to look);
Ultimately, the goal is to foster even better collaboration among all these groups. Collaboration that is informed by thoughtful, in-depth study of how all of the problems that we deal with mix together in our neighborhoods.

We invite you to use these pages frequently. Keep up to date on COMPASS developments. Use the Public Applications to track safety and other trends in your neighborhood, or anywhere in Milwaukee. Check out the links throughout these pages to other leading-edge research, best practices and achievements in other places. And most importantly, let us know what else you would find helpful at this site.

Thank you.