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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, February 29, 2008

APA's 100th National Planning Conference

The American Planning Association's 100th National Conference will be held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 27 through May 1, 2008. From the conference website:

Keynote speakers are the highlight of the National Conference. UN Undersecretary and UN-Habitat Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka looks ahead to the future of sustainable development. ESRI President Jack Dangermond looks at the future from a geographic perspective. And New Yorker architectural critic Paul Goldberger looks back on the seminal work Learning from Las Vegas.

So why is this of particular interest to community indicators practitioners? I'm glad you asked.

Several sessions are devoted to indicators and measurement:

Session S454, Measuring City Performance and the Quality of Life, will be held on Monday afternoon. Clive Graham and Lisa M. Voight will "Explore a World Bank initiative to develop indicators that measure city performance and quality of life in a standardized format across the globe. The Internet-based system allows cross-city comparisons and third-party verification, and enables cities to share best practices and to learn from each other."

Session S610, Green Community Indicators, Diagnostic Methods, and Programs, will feature Jeffrey L. Soule saying "A variety of approaches can guide communities in their effort to become greener. From LEED-ND, to the National Association of Counties sustainability indicator program, to simple checklists, communities are figuring out where they stand. This session looks at the pros and cons of different approaches and offers a look at APA’s tools and techniques."

You've also got S018 Neighborhood Analysis, Visioning, and Planning for Action, S022 How Large Is Your Carbon Footprint?, and S302 An Economic Atlas for Indiana, which features "regional economic indicators and using, interpreting, and applying data from GIS mapping."

Anyone going to conference who'd be willing to take notes and report back?

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