Community

Louisville leaders have long touted the city’s compassion initiatives as a selling point.

Work to foster and grow the concept of compassion across the city has gained accolades, and this week the International Charter of Compassion recognized Louisville for the fifth consecutive year as the “Model City for Compassion.”

Additionally, city government is partnering on a project to measure compassion through the creation of a compassionate city index. According to a news release, the index will examine each Louisville ZIP code to gather data on measures like literacy rates, segregation, life expectancy and tree coverage, among others, to gain an understanding of how “compassionate” each area of town is.

While measuring compassion is difficult, some experts say such an index could help residents foster an understanding about certain areas of the community they don’t often visit.

Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty is a theology professor at Bellarmine University and said compassion stems largely from relationships and networks across communities.

I spoke with Hinson-Hasty about the concept of compassion and how it applies to cities, like Louisville. I also spoke with Mayor Greg Fischer about his definition of compassion, and with David Mitchell, who is homeless, to get a better understanding about the goal and progress of one of the city’s favorite taglines.

Listen in the player above.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.