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Neighborhood Environmental Assessment Project

map of Cleveland neighborhoodsThe Neighborhood Environmental Assessment Project (NEAP) is a systematic environmental mapping initiative. Each year, the PRCHN team collects valuable community asset data to better understand the physical (or built) environment, such as food retail locations. With this data, we can create static maps or searchable, interactive maps to give researchers and community members a better understanding of the physical (or built) environment and how that affects the health of residents.

Since 2012, the NEAP team, including faculty, staff, students, and a significant number of interns, has driven the streets of our community to identify, map, inventory, and update lists of food retail outlets in the city of Cleveland and select suburbs. 

In addition, the NEAP team conducts periodic inventories of:
  • community gardens and other urban agriculture sites (e.g., market gardens or farmers' markets) in collaboration with Ohio State University-Extension
  • parks and green spaces
  • school food environment in Cleveland K-8 schools

By layering the data in these maps on top of each other, we can get a better idea of what areas have access to indicators associated with a healthy lifestyle, for example a full-service grocery store, a park, a community garden, or a farmers' market.

The NEAP Project has two major components, Map Resources and Tools. Each of these components allows researchers and community members to explore large or small portions of the Greater Cleveland area.
 
NEAP Maps allow researchers and residents to look at specific data sets in a geographic context. All of the NEAP maps start with a basic map of Cuyahoga County. On top of that are layers of information about a specific community asset, such as the location of community gardens, or a specific community quality, such as educational attainment. Each of these maps is searchable and interactive
 
 
Interested in the tools NEAP uses to survey community resources? By relying on new and established environmental assessment tools, we undertake primary data collection within Cuyahoga County using evidence-based research methods. The data we collect gives us detailed contextual insights. Because we capture context data annually, our data sets are ideal for spatial-temporal trend analyses. To learn more about the tools we use and innovations developed in-house, explore the NEAP Tools page.