• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, April 17, 2023

Opportunity Atlas shows conditions and needs in Forsyth County neighborhoods

The new Forsyth County Neighborhood Opportunity Atlas shows the resources and conditions in local neighborhoods to help guide the decision-making process for planning and programs throughout the county.

The Atlas is an online resource, which can be found at www.fcnoa.org, that provides a holistic analysis of neighborhood conditions including housing, crime, poverty, access to resources, educational attainment and performance, voter participation and health. It will help to identify, compare and assess the needs of neighborhoods in Forsyth County for planning, programming, budgeting and evaluation by government and private entities.

The interactive map shows statistics for each Census tract in the county based on the data from the 2020 Census and other sources. The Atlas will be updated as new data becomes available.

The statistics are broken down into detailed subcategories. For instance, the “Infrastructure/Access” category includes residents without health insurance, distance to grocery stores, distance to parks and internet subscriptions. “Housing” contains statics on housing vacancy, home values, home ownership, foreclosures, the amount of residential property, tree canopy, and more.

Along with current conditions, the Atlas includes a section for “County Trends” that show changes over time in things like poverty, crime and foreclosures. This section also has options to view “Success Stories” and “Opportunity Highlights” in each census tract.

There’s also a “Tract Facts” page that lets users search using their address to find their Census Track and includes quick facts the county’s individual census tracts.

The Neighborhood Opportunity Atlas was funded by Forsyth County Government, which contracted with the Spatial Justice Studio @ the Center for Design Innovation to create the atlas, with help from County’s MapForsyth department, Forsyth County Health and Human Services, the City of Winston-Salem and other community partners. The site was recognized by Graphic Design USA with a 2022 American Web Design Award.

MapForsyth Director Shaylee Bowen said the atlas provides information about where needs are in the community to help guide the efforts to address those issues.

“It is aimed at aiding and informing decision making so that County and non-profit efforts are transformative and equitable,” she said.

MapForsyth plans to offer trainings to government departments and local organizations on how to utilize this digital resource.

Forsyth County invites area non-profits to attend an information session on the Atlas, either in-person or online, on Tuesday, April 25 at 10 a.m., which be held in the Forsyth County Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut Street. You can register by emailing mcnealej@forsyth.cc.

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