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Windshield surveys are systematic observations made from a moving vehicle.  They are designed to help you better understand the community in general or a specific condition regarding it.  Windshield surveys may be used to estimate the poverty level of a given geographic area or to examine the community’s physical, social or economic character.

Windshield surveys are useful when the area you want to observe is large and the aspects you are interested in can be seen from the road.  A WALKING survey might be utilized when you’re seeking to understand things that are hard to see from a moving vehicle.

Pick an area that is manageable.  If you live and work in a large city, you’re probably only concerned with a small section, or a particular segment of that city.  For example, if you lived in New York City, you might select just Manhattan or the borough of Queens.  Your choice will help shape your understanding of the community, so you should make it thoughtfully.  Which areas will best reflect the aspects of the community that you want to know about?  Which locations best relate to the work you want to do?

Consider how the time of day, the day of the week, and the season might impact your survey.  You may want to repeat your survey more than once in order to capture the differences between community conditions or activities at different times.

General Tips:

· Use a map.  Google maps on your smart phone or similar services are excellent resources

· Enlist a spouse, friend or family member to assist you so that you can make notes and record your observations while someone else drives.

· Drive major and minor streets, particularly in residential neighborhoods.

· Pull over at regular intervals to make notes.

· Try to remain inconspicuous but take pictures to refresh your memory about buildings or areas of interest or concern.

· To truly experience the community, take part in everyday activities.  Take public transportation, eat in a local restaurant, buy something in a drugstore or grocery store.  This will give you a chance to listen to people’s conversations and to get a sense of how they interact.

· Go inside public buildings and cultural institutions

· Sit down in a quiet place to observe the population and to take notes.

· Consider the community’s outstanding assets.

· Consider the community’s biggest challenges.

· Explore the unexpected.

· Note the aesthetic quality of the community, either positively or negatively.

In part I of this assignment, you will make notes and perform data collection regarding the community you have selected.  You are REQUIRED to utilize the template provided.  The template will help you to perform comprehensive data collection. The template may be utilized during the conduct of your windshield survey to make handwritten notes but your submission MUST be typed using complete sentences, proper grammar and spelling.  You must add a cover page to your Windshield Survey Assignment Part I using APA format

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