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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

MacArthur Foundation's New Directions in Community Change

The MacArthur Foundation just published a newsletter called New Directions in Community Change. It begins with a President's Message that highlights the importance of looking at the overall quality of life in urban renewal, in this case in Chicago, and the need to track progress through a series of broad community indicators.

The newsletter continues its conversation about the use of data to spur and measure community progress. Articles like Measuring for Success, Community Mapping Comes Full Circle, and Bridging the Information Gap in Urban Markets add depth to the discussion.

For community indicators practitioners and neighborhood indicators advocates, this is an amazing effort. Bringing residents and volunteers together with smart phone technology to provide accurate, on the ground measures of neighborhood conditions is really quite exciting. Data partners assist revitalization efforts in understanding potential markets. Composite indicators measure neighborhood progress.

Some of the data partners in this effort include the Metro Chicago Information Center, the Urban Markets Initiative, and the National Infrastructure for Community Statistics.

Let me know if you've got examples of this kind of collaboration with your community indicators efforts. I'd love to highlight the work.


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