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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Sustainability Indicators Project (?)

I ran across a recent blog entry that called for a new sustainability indicators project in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The article was persuasive, referencing the Sightline Institute , Sustaining Jackson Hole, and the Cascadia Scorecard. (I love whoever does the messaging for Sightline -- they don't refer you to data and statistics but to "extraordinary graphics" and a "wonktastic blog.")

From the blog entry at the Carbon Neutral Journal:

Recently, Sustaining Jackson Hole's Resource Use Group announced a community-wide 10 x 10 effort, which aims to reduce Teton County’s per capita energy use and garbage generation by 10% (from 2006 levels) by December 31, 2010. This effort is intended to complement the Town of Jackson's and Teton County's joint resolution to reduce electricity and fossil fuel consumption 10% each by December 31, 2010.

I bring all this up because the most recent Cascadia Scorecard reveals that, on a per capita basis, Northwesterners are using less gasoline, In fact they've reduced gasoline use by 10% since the late 1990's.

How did they do that? According to
Gristmill's analysis, there are three primary reasons:

  • Folks are driving a bit less. Person for person, vehicle mileage trends in the Northwest are on the decline.
  • Cascadians are driving more efficient vehicles. In the Northwest, sales of hybrids have outpaced Hummers for years.
  • Mass transit is gaining ridership. Between 1999 and 2006, transit boardings in greater Vancouver and Portland have gone up by about 25 percent; in the Puget Sound it's been about 11 percent.

As the Sustaining Jackson Hole and Town/County efforts gain momentum, it will be critical to track and analyze the key measures of our energy and fuel conservation as well as the reduction in trash generated. Keeping the public involved, updated and motivated by our progress toward 10 x 10 will require consistent and timely dissemination of vital statistics.

Perhaps the time is ripe for a Tetonia Scorecard?

If you live around the Jackson Hole area, or just want to lend support to the initiative, check out the blog entry. I'm sure they'd appreciate hearing from you.

1 comment:

  1. My very environmentally-oriented friend who now works in Jackson will be thrilled! But I doubt she'll be riding a bike or horse from the outlying area where she lives because it's much more affordable. I wonder if this great Initiative is taking into account any of the factors that cause people NOT to live in or immediately near Jackson but to live further out and commute in--which certainly uses up fuel resources.