Back to City and Regional Planning Home
University of Memphis Photo
Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative

The Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative

The Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative is a project hosted by the Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning in conjunction with the City of Memphis’ Summer Youth Employment Program. The Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative employs teens who are interested in making positive changes in their neighborhood.  Participants work with a team of city planning professors, students and professionals to identify assets and liabilities in their neighborhoods from a youth perspective. Participants have the opportunity to share their thoughts about the positive and negative aspects of their neighborhood. They learn how to use technology to represent those thoughts graphically through maps, photographs, and web sites to help tell their story and influence community change. Participants are responsible for providing and gathering neighborhood input, collecting data about neighborhood conditions, and preparing maps (using pen and paper as well as handheld computers and software). The University of Memphis city planning team works with participants to develop strategies to build on neighborhood strengths and address weaknesses. The program includes a combination of field work in the neighborhood, computer work, and classroom training.

Participants in the Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative program learn the basic elements of the planning process, how to identify neighborhoods assets and liabilities, how to use technology to collect and analyze geographic data, how to create maps with computers, how to work with community groups, and how to interact with government agencies.

2007 Teams

In the summer of 2007, the Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative worked with young people in the Peabody-Vance neighborhood and the University District. After an introduction to city planning and geographic information systems, each group defined a focus for their mapping projects based on what they identified as important neighborhood assets and liabilities. The Peabody Vance youth created a set of interactive maps that explore their neighborhood’s historic and cultural assets. The University District youth developed a set of plans to enhance Davis Park and mapped problem properties in the surrounding Messick Buntyn neighborhood. Both teams created blogs to help track their progress, tell their stories, and share their perspectives.

Use the “2007 Team Pages” links to the right to navigate the team blogs, photo albums and interactive maps.

For lesson plans and activities, visit the YNMI Resource Page.

YNMI in the News

Listen to a discussion of the Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative on Smart City Radio. Click here to download the broadcast.

YNMI Resources

Lesson Plans & Activities


2007 Team Pages

University District Blog

University District Presentation

Peabody Vance Blog

Peabody Vance Interactive Maps

For more information contact: Dr. Charlie Santo

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 12/4/11