The central premise of opportunity mapping is that residents of a metropolitan area are situated within an interconnected web of opportunities that shape their quality of life. Green Doors' mapping initiative is focused on the nexus between housing and opportunity, and provides a comprehensive framework (via maps) for the organization and the broader community to understand how housing interacts with other important public policy issues, including public education, economic mobility, public health, environment, and neighborhood stability. Ultimately, the intent is that this framework enables community development practitioners, businesses, and policy makers to offer products and services and to create policies that increase socio-economic equity for all Central Texans.
Working with the Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity and other engaged stakeholders, Green Doors helped create an initial set of opportunity maps that provide us with a sense of how socio-economic opportunity is distributed in the five-county Austin metro area. Green Doors unveiled these maps to the broader public in 2007. Response to the maps from partners and the public has been overwhelmingly positive and proactive. Public and private stakeholders have begun incorporating the maps into their respective frameworks in how they evaluate and prioritize opportunity and social equity. Indeed, the City of Austin is now using these opportunity maps a foundational criteria in how they invest their funds in affordable housing projects.