View of Community
Balanced view of community

Talking Points
  • "Three legged stool" view of sustainable community
  • All three facets are equally important
  • Need to balance economy, society and environment

A good set of sustainability indicators for a community addresses the priorities of the community while providing an overall perspective of how issues are connected. What is important is that the framework and the set of indicators reflect a balanced view of the community.

This diagram is frequently used in discussions about sustainability. The analogy is often made to a three-legged stool; communities are supported by a stool with three legs: economy, environment, and society.

Traditional indicator sets generally measure the non-overlapping areas of these circles. As a result, progress in one area is often at the expense of another area. Sustainability indicators measure the overlap among these three areas.

This view of a community will frequently result in an indicator framework that is theme-based.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.