Section 3 - Developing Indicators
The purpose of this section is to provide participants with an
opportunity to develop potential indicators for a sustainable
community and get feedback from other participants on how to make
an indicator better. By the end of this section, the
participants will have experience discussing the issues of
sustainability and providing feedback to others on indicators.
Tips for Teaching/Key Elements
The important concepts to emphasize are:
1) Start with the vision or description of sustainability and use
that to come up with ideas for indicators.
2) Think about the linkages between the issue and other areas.
3) When brainstorming ideas, don't dismiss indicators because
the data does not currently exist. Indicators that are relevant to
sustainability--but for which no data exists--are better in the long
run than indicators that are not relevant to sustainability no matter
how much data exists.
4) A sustainable community goal cannot involve making a community
better by making another community worse off.
5) Look at the indicators from several viewpoints or frameworks--theme
based, pressure-state-response, natural-human/social-built
capital, goal based--to see if you have a well balanced set of
6) Develop a way to evaluate indicators that works for your
7) Think about who might already be collecting the data or
monitoring that facet of the community.