Delaware Valley Indicators of Potential Disadvantage Tool

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley nine county, two state region. In 2001, DVRPC developed the Indicators of Potential Disadvantage (IPD) - an Environmental Justice (EJ) technical assessment to identify direct and disparate impacts of its plans, programs, and planning process on defined population groups in the Delaware Valley region. DVRPC describes that the Commission is committed to making federal Title VI and environmental justice a part of their planning process, integrated in all programs and plans, and a guide for public participation efforts.

The IPD Tool incorporates the indicators into a publicly available interactive web tool, with county/census tract level mapped indicators of social vulnerability. DVRPC currently assesses the following population groups, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, on the IPD Tool:

Understand where frontline communities live within the Delaware Valley region.

  • Non-Hispanic Minority
  • Carless Households
  • Households in Poverty
  • Female Head of Household with Child
  • Elderly (75 years and over)
  • Hispanic
  • Limited English Proficiency
  • Persons with a Physical Disability

Using U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS) 2008-2012 five-year estimates data, the population groups listed above are identified and located at the census tract level. Data is gathered at the regional level, combining populations from each of the nine counties, for either individuals or households, depending on the indicator. From there, the total number of persons in each demographic group is divided by the appropriate universe (either population or households) for the nine-county region, providing a regional average for that population group. Any census tract that meets or exceeds the regional average level, or threshold, is considered an EJ-sensitive tract for that group.

For example, when selecting the Households in Poverty group, percent of households are mapped by census tract and delineated by a color scale of poverty level per tract area.  The following data is available for this category:

  • Regional Threshold: 12.31 percent.
  • County Thresholds: 5.81 percent to 24.34 percent, and
  • Percent of County (by County).

DVRPC also has developed a “Planner's Methodology,” which is designed to provide guidance to staff in meeting Title VI and EJ mandates and structuring a public participation plan at the project or study level. The Planner's Methodology sets a framework for developing individual public participation plans for specific projects, offers a "toolkit" of public participation strategies, and provides instruction on how to utilize DVRPC's Indicators of Potential Disadvantage (IPD) methodology, as well as an overview of Title VI and EJ mandates.



Publication Date: 2014

Related Organizations:

  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Mapping tool
  • Tool (general)

States Affected:


  • Socioeconomic

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