A theme-based indicator set looks at the basic areas of the community.
Some communities use only the Economy-Environment-Society categories
as themes, but most break those down farther. The specific categories
are used depend upon the circumstances of the community. The list
above represents some of the areas that people are concerned about in
Do you need to have an indicator in each of these categories? No. Nor
do you need to use these category names. It's your community; measure
what is important to your community members.
If a theme-based framework is used, it is important to remember that
the overall set of indicators has to be balanced. Sometimes,
particularly when one segment of the community is more involved in a
sustainable community project, the resulting indicators can emphasize
one aspect of the community and exclude others.
For example, civic groups tend to have more indicators relating to
government or citizen involvement. Economic development groups tend
to have more indicators relating to business. Environmental groups
tend to have more indicators relating to the environment. This is why
it is important to include all members and groups within the
community. If all views are represented, the result will be a more
even mix of indicators. You need to have indicators that address the
three aspects of a community: economy, environment, and society. Over
all, the indicators have to reflect a balance of all the facets of a