Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rural v. Urban Living

Today a friend sent me this link:

The site is a BBC News interactive map that shows the growth in urban populations around the world from 1955 to a projected 2015.

Coincidentally, I had recently finished a conversation with another colleague about the challenges of developing regional indicators for regions that include both urban and rural populations (as most do). Simply put, often the core issues are different, and more significantly, the data mean something different in urban and rural communities. (Commute times measure distance and not congestion, for example, and parkland may serve a different function in urban and rural environments.)

For those working on rural issues, RUPRI -- -- is a tremendous resource. is their Community Information Resource Center, with interactive mapping and a lot of useful information.

If your project successfully integrates both urban and rural issues into a shared indicator set, please drop me a line (or comment on this post) -- I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.


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