CultureBlocks was a free online tool developed for the City of Philadelphia that mapped nonprofit arts and culture groups, “cultural businesses,” public art, galleries, and cultural events. While no longer in operation, for years this tool allowed individuals and organizations to locate activities in their own backyard, while researchers used the aggregate data to identify trends and compelling conclusions about the role that these arts and cultural resources play in stabilizing communities.
This tool helped the City of Philadelphia better and more strategically decide how to invest in its neighborhoods. As former Mayor Michael A. Nutter said in a statement accepting a 2015 Harvard University Bright Idea Award on behalf of the project:
Similar tools have been established in other cities, including the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance’s GeoLoom.