Tracking the Vision
WHAT ARE INDICATORS?
Indicators are replicable measures of conditions, phenomena, problems…..
Community Sustainability Indicators are a set of indicators selected by a community to track the
interconnections between changes in the economy, ecology, and society and measure movement
toward or away from sustainability Vision and Goals.
WHY ARE INDICATORS IMPORTANT?
Indicators provide a practical framework for guiding our pursuit towards sustainability. Indicators
inform our collective decisions. Indicators can play several roles in promoting, implementing, and
evaluating neighborhood sustainability, including:
• Establishing baseline measurements of current conditions
• Establishing a shared understanding of conditions and assist in consensus-building
• Evaluating whether actions are having the desired impacts
• Provide data and evidence to hold ourselves and policy makers accountable to our goals
HOW DO WE ESTABLISH INDICATORS?
Choosing the right set of indicators is essential for effectively evaluating our progress. To be
effective, indicators must:
• Be created in an inclusive democratic process that engages neighborhood residents
• Be relevant and linked to sustainability goals
• Be easily understandable
• Be easily measured and replicated
• Be reliable and timely; provide information we can trust in an appropriate timeframe
EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY INDICATORS:
• Number of households and businesses participating in Green Power purchasing programs
• Percentage of neighborhood physical surface that is permeable
• Profile of diverse and affordable housing opportunities
• Percentage of residents who have regular contact with 10 or more neighbors
• Purchases from local vendors by local businesses
• Percentage of residents earning a living wage
Bibliography and Further Reading: A selected bibliography of informational resources most
relevant to Sustainable Atwood is posted on the website and will be updated regularly.