Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance Releases Updated Data Analyzing Baltimore’s Capital Investments with an Equity Lens

The Baltimore Department of Planning pursues a more detailed analysis of capital improvement program data in order to identify inequitable distributions of investments, and build a case towards reversing these patterns.

BALTIMORE, MD SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 -- On September 3, Baltimore City Department of Planning released a new, detailed analysis of the City’s billion-dollar Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The report was developed jointly by the Department of Planning and the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance – Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore. The goal of the analysis is to assess the distribution of capital improvement appropriations between FY14-20 compared to the distribution of various equity indicators such as race and income. From this baseline, a strategy for a more equitable distribution will be built.

The CIP is one of the most important ways through which the City of Baltimore invests in its physical future. Typically, these are investments in physical infrastructure that include road improvements, public buildings, and parks. This report includes analysis of all projects from FY14-20 where a location can be identified, which ranges from between 20 percent to 60 percent of the total funds in the CIP.

Using this methodology, CIP allocations were calculated for all 55 Community Statistical Areas (CSAs) in Baltimore. The study found that by CSA, between FY14 and FY20, the total per capital allocations was highest in Penn North/Reservoir Hill, Downtown/Seton Hill and Southeastern Baltimore. However, much of the allocation attributed to Penn North/Reservoir Hill has citywide impact. The community with the highest per capita CIP allocation of local projects was Harbor East/Little Italy.

The Department of Planning is committed to conducting an analysis of the CIP regularly, and requesting more complete data from City agencies in future years. Additionally, all City agencies are charged with analyzing their capital requests under the new Equity Assessment Program. This 2018 legislation requires all city agencies to conduct equity assessments. The Department of Planning will use this citywide program as an opportunity to develop goals and metrics contributing to a more equitable CIP investment strategy.

Jack Young, Mayor, City of Baltimore

“This is an ongoing effort, and our assessments and policy responses must and will evolve and advance over time. I challenge all City agencies to continue to push for the best assessments and use that information to ensure that the needs and aspirations of all Baltimoreans are valued in the policies, programs, and budgets that we enact as a City.”

Chris Ryer, Director, Department of Planning

“Inequity thrives in ambiguity. The Department of Planning knew it was important to identify where data and process gaps existed in our capital improvement program. This updated analysis from BNIA is an important step towards utilizing an equity lens to develop our capital budget moving forward.”

Related Links:

Interactive CIP project map

Media Contacts: Stephanie Smith,, 443-792-9853


Related Stories

Our Baltimore Moves to Phase 2 - Join us at 'Shape Your City' Workshops

This fall, Baltimore residents are invited to generate recommendations collaboratively at a workshop series.

Clean Corps launches

On August 2, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new initiative to address dirty alleys, unmaintained vacant lots and public trash cans as part of his Clean Corps initiative.

NOTICE: Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) Taking Public Comment on Proposed Updates to the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines

The Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation is taking public comment on proposed updates to the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.