Indicator Themes
Public Safety
Resource Use

Talking Points
  • Communities pick topics that fit their situations
  • Need to make sure there is a balanced mix
  • Reflects the "three-legged stool" view of community

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 their communities.

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 community.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.