The Greater Louisville Project has released their 2009 Competitive City Report (PDF), and I commend it to you for several reasons.
First, I want you to look at the amount of information the report conveys in 7 pages. They have historical, current, and projected data over a number of indicators that show Louisville's place among its peer cities. (I was particulary interested because Jacksonville is one of those peer cities selected -- the more research others do about Jacksonville, the easier my job becomes!)
Second, the report is focused on a single goal -- "to move Louisville into the top tier among its peer cities by the end of this decade." To do that, they identified three "deep drivers" -- Education (specifically raising educational attainment to develop a more highly skilled workforce), Jobs (21st century industry and jobs), and Quality of Place (which deals with the urban vitality required to attract talent and the 21st century industry.) Each of the indicators then become linked to one of the drivers and linked directly to the goal.
Third, the mix of graphics and use of color makes the report engaging. You get the picture quickly.
Fourth, the website is engaging. You get the overview, and then can click through any of the three deep drivers, and then go to any chart, and then get an Excel data chart for each indicator -- I like the way they meet the information needs of multiple audiences.
The last thing I'll mention is that I liked how Jacksonville was improving -- our rates of progress, specifically in educational attainment and household income, have been a concentrated local concern, and I'm glad to see other people taking notice of our growth in these areas. Plus check out Jacksonville's parkland indicator! Hooray for preserving land as a recreational asset, environmental protection, and growth management tool!
Anyway, check out the report, and keep the new report release information coming.
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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.