Site Selection: City of Chicago
Several urban areas in different parts of the United States were considered for the site of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Chicago was selected because it came the closest, out of all urban areas, to meeting the criteria established by the Scientific Directors. In particular, the city of Chicago was chosen as the study site because of the following characteristics:
Stability: Chicago's neighborhoods are well-defined and stable in their composition.
History: Social scientists have been studying the city of Chicago for over a century; therefore, there was already a wealth of data about the city, as well as a large pool of researchers available.
Organization: City and state government leaders supported the project, as did officials from schools, social service agencies, and the criminal justice systems.
Size and diversity: The city of Chicago has a population large and diverse enough to allow for important study comparisons. In particular, Chicago has neighborhoods with large populations of African-Americans, whites of various ethnic groups, and Latinos (both Mexican-American and Puerto Rican), and each of these groups encompasses a broad spectrum of socioeconomic statuses. The diversity of the neighborhoods allows for a wide range of developmental pathways to observe.