Table of Contents | Appendix F
Indicators Resources and
This appendix includes examples of initiatives on indicators throughout the United States. Their presentation in this report is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as endorsement by the Sustainable Communities Task Force or the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.
This inventory was compiled by Walter Corson under the auspices of the Global Tomorrow Coalition. To suggest additional programs, please contact Dr. Corson at 1399 Orchard Street, Alexandria, VA 22302, 703 683 5730.
Communities and regions around the world are using environmental and social indicators, defining goals, and setting quantitative targets to assess their quality of life and monitor progress toward ecological and societal sustainability. The indicators and goals cover a wide range of environmental, economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions of sustainability. Indicators and numerical goals can be used to compare current conditions with desired performance, to show trends over time, to allow comparisons between different regions, to help judge the sustainability of current practices, and to define and publicize new standards and measures for assessing progress toward a sustainable future. (For a discussion of the dimensions of sustainability and an analysis of indicators being used to measure sustainability, see Walter Corson, “Measuring Sustainability: Indicators, Trends, Performance,” available from the author.)
A number of urban areas are developing indicators and goals to measure the quality of life and assess progress toward sustainability. In the Western Hemisphere, these areas include Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Jose, and Santa Monica, California; Boulder, Colorado; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Sarasota, Florida; Seattle and Olympia, Washington; Toronto, Ontario; and Quito, Ecuador. European cities with similar programs include London, Rouen, Stockholm, Vienna, and Zurich.
In 1986, the World Health Organization initiated the Healthy Cities network, a system of mutual support in Europe that has stimulated progress on urban issues around the world. The project has defined criteria for a healthy city that include the meeting of basic needs, environmental quality, public health, community relations, participation in decision-making, access to resources, economic viability, and preservation of cultural and biological heritage. The Healthy Cities movement now includes more than 1,000 communities worldwide. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the Healthy People 2000 National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives, which contains goals and quantitative targets relevant to many of the dimensions of sustainability listed above. Brief summaries of urban and regional programs in North America that include indicators and goals are given below, along with contacts for further information.
In the United States, several states are using indicators and setting quantitative targets. Colorado has developed indicators and assessed socioeconomic, political, and technological trends; Illinois has analyzed critical trends, Washington’s Environment 2010 Plan includes indicators and qualitative goals; Oregon’s Benchmarks program has identified 272 indicators with goals to measure performance; Minnesota’s Milestones program has defined 20 goals and 79 indicators to gauge progress; and Tennessee has compiled data for 26 environmental indicators. Brief summaries and contacts for these and other state-level programs are given below.
This inventory concludes with summaries of several surveys designed to measure environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the quality of life in communities and regions.
A Sustainable City Plan for Berkeley. December 1992. Includes 71 specific recommendations for action in seven areas: land use; open space, greening, and agriculture; transportation; housing; energy, resources, and pollution; social justice; and sustainable economics. (Although the plan does not contain explicit indicators, they could be specified for many of the recommendations.) Contact: Urban Ecology, P.O. Box 10144, Berkeley, CA 94709. 510/549-1724.
Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. The plan is based on a vision that urban development must be harmonious with the natural environment. The city is committed to policies and programs that preserve open space and wetlands, manage transportation needs, facilitate recycling, protect clean air and water, and conserve energy. In October 1993, the City Council adopted six goals as part of the City’s Integrated Planning Project: limit population and employment growth, maintain and enhance the quality of the natural and built environment, decrease traffic congestion by developing alternate transportation modes, encourage affordable housing, maintain a sustainable, dynamic, flexible economy, and cooperate with other area jurisdictions to foster a regional perspective and solve problems of mutual concern. A draft strategic plan dated 3-23-94 includes the objective of identifying performance indicators for monitoring the local economy. Contact: City of Boulder, Environmental Affairs, P.O. Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306; or Office of Policy & Program Analysis, City Council, Boulder, CO 80306, 303/441-3147.
Building Sustainable Communities in Southern California. April 1994. Gives data for Southern California (focusing on Los Angeles County) between 1980 and 1993 for more than 50 indicators grouped in eight categories: population (total population and average annual growth, employment, housing units); economy (per capita income; unemployment rate; average income, number of jobs, and percent growth in each of 10 employment sectors); air quality (number of days and extent that federal ozone standard was exceeded); transportation (energy use per person, pollutants emitted by mobile sources, cars per 1000 people, use of cars and public transit); energy (percent use by sector, sources of electricity); water (amount used, recycled, and obtained from local or remote sources); waste (trash produced, recycled, and landfilled; hazardous waste generated); equity (in terms of housing stock, lead poisoning, vehicle use and income). Contact: Southern California Council on Environment and Development, 1341 Ocean Avenue, #253, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310/821-2722.
Sustainability Profile for the City of Cambridge. September 1992. Data has been compiled for 1990 or 1991 for the following factors: energy and water use, waste generation, transportation, population, agriculture, and local employment. Some data for energy, water, and transportation were collected back to 1983. Contact: Institute for Resource and Security Studies, 27 Ellsworth Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. 617/491-5177.
CHATTANOOGA AND HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Revision 2000 Goals and Recommendations. May 1993. Contains 27 general goals and more than 120 specific recommendations in five categories: places (including specific locations, environment, transportation, historic preservation, beautification); work (including economic development, tourism, job training, workplace); government (including leadership, neighborhoods, crime and safety, citizen involvement); people (including education, health, housing, social services); and play (including parks, recreation, culture and arts). Contact: Sisie Tillman, Chattanooga Venture, 850 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. 615/267-8687.
1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Includes goals and priority commitments in the areas of living resources, water quality, population growth and development, public information and access, and governments. The Agreement resulted from a coordinated effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Washington, DC; Maryland; Virginia; Pennsylvania; and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Contact: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tawes State Office Building, Annapolis, MD 21401. 410/974-2926.
“Chicago’s Sustainability Indicators,” The Neighborhood Works, October-November 1993. For 1992, more than 160 indicators cover the following factors: land area, energy, transportation, air pollution, water quality and quantity, solid and hazardous waste, income and employment, housing, crime, education, arts and culture, parks, and community participation and government. Gives trend data for several of the indicators. Contact: The Center for Neighborhood Technology, 2125 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647. 312/278-4800.
Sustainable Development in Colorado: A Background Report on Indicators, Trends, Definitions, and Recommendations. June 1994. Prepared by Daniel D. Chiras. Lists 41 socioeconomic and environmental indicators, of which data for 33 are presented in tabular and graphic form. There are three groups of indicators: social (crime, health, education and literacy; economic (employment); and environmental (air quality, water quality, energy and resource use, toxins and hazardous waste, solid waste, agriculture, forests and habitats, population). The report includes indicator data for the past five years or more. Of the 16 socioeconomic indicators evaluated, 11 were judged to be moving away from sustainability; 4 suggest movement toward sustainability, and one showed no clear trend. Of the 17 environmental indicators evaluated, 13 were deemed to be moving away from sustainability, and 4 suggest progress toward sustainability. Contact: Sustainable Futures Society, 7652 Gartner Road, Evergreen CO 80439.
Choices for Colorado’s Future: An Environmental Scan. December 1993. The Scan analyzes trends and forces affecting Colorado, including social trends (e.g., population growth, migration, health, education, crime, social services); economic trends (e.g., economic product, income, income distribution); political trends (which include environmental issues such as land use policy, water supply and quality, and waste disposal); technological trends (e.g., biotechnology, information processing, automation and computer applications in the workplace); and human development indicators. The Scan omits indicators of resource use and environmental quality, which are available from other sources. Contact: The Colorado Trust, 1600 Sherman Street, Denver, CO 80203. 303/839-9034.
Social State of Connecticut. November 1994. The report is intended to provide an on- going assessment of the social health of the state’s citizens, which will assist policy-makers and enhance public awareness of social problems faced by the state. The index of social health for the state combines in one measure indicators of eleven social problems, including infant mortality, child abuse, teen-age births, teen-age suicides, high school completions, unemployment, average weekly wages, health care costs, violent crimes, access to affordable housing, and the income gap between rich and poor. Contact: Fordham Institute for Innovation in Social Policy, Fordham Graduate Center, Tarrytown, NY 10591. 914/332-6013.
Delaware’s Environmental Legacy: Shaping Tomorrow’s Environment Today. A Report to the Governor and the People of Delaware. January 1988. Contains 122 environmental recommendations covering six goal areas: air quality, water resources, wastes, ecological habitats, land use, and education about environmental ethics. An annual report released in 1989 documents progress made in implementing the recommendations. Contact: DNREC (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control), P.O. Box 1401, Dover, DE 19903.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Community Indicators: A Report Card for Greenville County. August 1993. Includes 63 indicators in nine categories: population, economics, education, family, health, public safety, mobility, voter participation, and environment. Does not include direct measures of resource use such as energy and water use or waste generation. Gives data and characterizes trends for 59 indicators between 1987 and 1992: 21 indicators showed improvement, 23 worsened, and 15 exhibited no clear trend. The community will be asked to establish targets for the indicators. Contact: Community Indicators, Community Planning Council of Greenville County, 301 University Ridge, Suite 5300, Greenville, SC 29601-3672. 803/476-3333.
The Changing Illinois Environment: Critical Trends. Summary Report of the Critical Trends Assessment Project. 1994. The project was established to describe ecological changes in Illinois. A “source- receptor” model comprises the basis for analysis. Sources are human activities that affect the environment; they include manufacturing, transportation, urban dynamics, resource extraction, electricity production, and waste systems. Receptors include forests, agro-ecosystems, streams and rivers, lakes, prairies and savannas, wetlands, and human populations. Results of the analysis are contained in a seven-volume technical report that draws three general conclusions: (1) the emission and discharge of regulated pollutants over the past 20 years has declined, in some cases dramatically; (2) the condition of natural ecosystems in Illinois is rapidly declining as a result of fragmentation and continual stress; (3) data designed to monitor compliance with environmental regulations or the status of specific species are not sufficient to assess ecosystem health statewide. The next report of the project is planned for 1996. Contact: Critical Trends Assessment Project, Office of Research and Planning, Department of Energy and Natural Resources, 325 West Adams, Room 300, Springfield, IL 62704-1892. 217/785-0138.
JACKSONVILLE AND DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA
Life in Jacksonville: Quality Indicators for Progress. November 1994. Includes 74 indicators that reflect trends since 1983 in nine areas: the economy, public safety, health, education, the natural environment, travel mobility, government and politics, the social environment, and culture and recreation. Does not include direct measures of energy or water use. Of the 74 indicators, 35 showed improvement, 23 worsened, and 16 exhibited no clear trend. Progress was most evident for indicators of travel mobility and culture and recreation; conditions worsened for public safety and for government and politics.
Of the 72 indicators for which targets for the year 2000 have been established, the extent to which current data for the indicators approached or exceeded the target level (a measure of performance expressed as a percentage of the target figure) varied from a high of 123% (for septic tank permits) down to a low of -86%* (for net job growth); the average performance rating for all 72 indicators was 64%. Of the nine areas, the natural environment had the highest average rating of 96%; the social environment received the lowest average rating of 29%. Of the 72 indicators, 42% (30) had values that were at least 80% of the target figure. Contact: Lois Chepenik, Jacksonville Community Council, 2434 Atlantic Boulevard, Suite 100, Jacksonville, FL 32207. 904/396-3052.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
FOCUS Kansas City Planning Issues Matrix. February 1993. The matrix consists of seven “linkage themes” and five “community building blocks” that together comprise a potential framework for establishing goals. The linkage themes include role and market, technological change, environment, personal well-being and quality of life, diversity, investment, and governance; the community building blocks include jobs and employment, resources and capital, institutions and culture, knowledge and education, and neighborhoods and people. The project has assembled indicator data for nine topical areas: population and demographics, housing and households, development patterns, infrastructure, community services, economics, natural environment, urban fabric, and public finance. Contact: FOCUS Kansas City, City Planning & Development Department, 15th Floor, City Hall, 414 East 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2795. 816/274-1841.
“Kentucky’s Legislative Leadership Marches Toward Sustainable Development.” By John Rose, President of the Kentucky Senate and Joe Clarke, Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives; From Rio to the Capitals, May 1993. In 1988, the Kentucky General Assembly created a state center for hazardous waste reduction. In 1991, the Assembly enacted comprehensive solid waste legislation that established a 25% goal for solid waste reduction between 1993 and 1997, instituted priorities for solid waste management, and created a recycling authority to develop markets for recovered materials. The 1992 General Assembly enacted legislation that defined sustainable development economic goals; it also created the Long-Term Policy Research Center to help decision-makers consider “the long-term implications of policy, critical trends, and emerging issues which may have a significant impact on the state.” Contact: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet, Office of Communication and Community Affairs, 4th Floor, Capital Plaza Tower, Frankfort, KY 40601, 502/564-5525; or the Long-Term Policy Research Center, 502/564-2150.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Report of the Southern California Conference on Environment and Development, June 14, 1993; and Preparatory Conference, April 22, 1993. The report includes 59 challenges (or goals) for sustainable development in ten categories: air quality, climate change, and transportation; energy resources and efficiency; watershed management; public health; hazardous and solid waste; ecosystems and biodiversity; education, values, and ethics; environmental equity; economic development; and liveable urban communities. Also lists 60 barriers to sustainable development in each of the ten categories.
Building Sustainable Communities in Southern California. A Conference of the Southern California Council on Environment and Development. The report includes current and earlier data for Southern California (focusing on Los Angeles County) for 56 indicators in eight areas: population (total population, employment, number of housing units, average annual population growth); economy (per capita income, unemployment, employment and average income by sector); air quality (number of days ozone standard exceeded, maximum ozone concentration as percent of standard); transportation (annual energy use per person, pollutants emitted per day by mobile sources, cars per 1000 people, annual per capita vehicle miles traveled, annual per capita trips on public transit, percent of trips by walking and by bicycle); energy (percent of energy use by sector, sources of electricity); water (total use, per capita use, percent recycled, percent from local supplies and from remote sources); waste (pounds of trash produced, recycled, and landfilled per person per day; percent of trash recycled; percent of families recycling; total hazardous waste generated); equity (pre-1940s housing stock by region, percent of income paid for rent, lead poisoning rate, percent of vehicle miles traveled by highest and lowest income groups). The trend data shows improvement for per capita income, air quality, and solid waste recycling; and worsening for unemployment, water use, and hazardous waste generation. Contact (for both reports): Southern California Council on Environment and Development, 1341 Ocean Avenue, #253, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310/821-2722.
Goals, Indicators and Benchmarks Matrix. Report of the Environmental Goals Committee, Maine Economic Growth Council. October 31, 1994. The report contains two broad goals: (1) balancing the use of natural resources to provide for current and future needs; and (2) supporting sustainable communities by sharing common resources, economic and social systems, and values. The natural resources management goal covers six areas: data bases, economic opportunities, research, conservation, tourism, and stewardship. Thirty-six indicators are suggested for measuring progress towards 17 benchmarks, three of which contain specific percentage targets. Four areas are covered under the second goal of supporting sustainable communities: encouraging development of non-traditional “communities of shared interest,” enhancing regional ecosystems, increasing citizen participation, and encouraging state policies for sustainable economies and employment. This goal is defined by 25 possible measures of progress toward eight targets, three of which are quantified. While little specific data is included, the plan provides a framework for sustainable management strategies. Contact: Maine Economic Growth Council, c/o Maine Development Foundation, 45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, ME 04330.
Maine’s Progress Towards a Sustainable Future: 1990. Includes 78 indicators of progress towards sustainable development in Maine. Examples of indicators include miles of rivers that fail to meet federal standards; number of vertebrate species that are endangered, rare or threatened; percentage of teens who use drugs; and number of households below the poverty line. Contact: Jo D. Saffeir, Mainewatch Institute, P.O. Box 209, Hallowell, ME 04347. 207/688-4191.
Excerpt from Toward a U.S. Green Plan: Thinking About a U.S. Strategy for Sustainable Development. By Phillip A. Greenberg. October 1993. Massachusetts has adopted pollution prevention legislation intended to reduce by half the volume of hazardous waste produced in the state by 1997. Companies using stipulated amounts of hazardous materials must submit a plan for using less hazardous materials and/or reducing wastes. Contact: Department of Environmental Protection, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108. 617/727-3160.
Minnesota Milestones: A Report Card for the Future. December 1992. Includes 20 general goals and 79 indicators with quantitative targets for the years 1995, 2000, 2010, and 2020, designed to measure progress in a number of areas, including economic viability and well-being, health, education, community safety, community services, housing, environmental quality, recreation, participation in government, and government effectiveness. For 25 of the 79 indicators, the data show changes from 1980 to 1990; 13 of these demonstrated progress toward the targets, 6 exhibited movement away from the targets, and 6 displayed no clear trend. Of the 12 indicators measuring trends in natural resources and the environment, five improved, one worsened, and six showed no clear trend. The extent to which current data for 49 of the indicators approached or exceeded the designated target level (a measure of performance expressed as a percentage of the target figure) varied from a high of 110% (for hazardous waste generation) to a low of 0% (for highway litter); the average performance rating for all 49 indicators was 75%. The average rating for 13 environmental indicators was 69%. Of the 49 indicators, 61% (30) had values that were at least 80% of the target figure. Contact: Minnesota Planning, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55155. 612/296-3985.
Communities of Place: The New Jersey Interim State Development and Redevelopment Plan. 1991. New Jersey has a comprehensive development plan that attempts to integrate environmental and natural resource management with other state development plans. Issues specifically mentioned include growth management, air and water pollution control, protection of biological diversity and lands, energy efficiency improvements, and recycling and waste management. The state’s Interim Development and Redevelopment Plan has nine goals and accompanying strategies for their accomplishment, ranging from providing adequate housing to conserving natural resources. If implemented throughout the state, the Plan could generate 40% less water pollutants and consume 80% less environmentally fragile land. Contact: New Jersey State Planning Commission or Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625-0402. 609/292-2885.
NEW YORK CITY
Annual Report on Social Indicators 1994. Includes indicators covering 50 topics grouped in 8 categories: demographics, economy and employment, public safety, health, education and culture, poverty and social services, housing and infrastructure, and environment. Contact: Eric Kober, Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, Room 4N, New York, NY 10007-1216. 212/720-3322.
The Future of North Carolina: Goals and Recommendations for the Year 2000. 1983. Results of a 1982 conference that produced 44 broad goals and 107 recommendations for action covering 16 topics. The goals and recommendations are grouped under four general headings: people (education, health, housing, poverty); economy (private investment, labor force development, public investment, information and technical assistance); natural resources (environmental protection, resource production and conservation, natural heritage, resource management); and community (physical development, recreational and cultural resources, security, government). Contact: North Carolina Department of Administration, 116 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27603-8003. 919/733-7232.
Central Oklahoma 2020: Select Community Indicators. 1993. The 2020 project developed quality of life indicators that facilitate evaluation of community initiatives. The indicators are grouped in seven categories: overall quality of life (based on 77 measurements in 6 categories); economy (economic well-being, employment, economic restructuring, erosion of the middle class); labor force (educational achievement, test scores, drop-out rates); social factors (teenage pregnancy, children in poverty, single parent families, children with working parents); desirable community (public safety and crime, the environment, health, housing, acceptable disparities among races, age groups, and counties); demographics (growing diversity, aging community); and arts and recreation. Contact: Arthur Sargent, Executive Director, Community Council of Central Oklahoma, 125 NW 5th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73101. 405/272-0049.
OLYMPIA AND THURSTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
State of the Community: A Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society in the South Puget Sound Region. April 1993. Defines and gives data for 12 primary indicators and 25 secondary indicators in eight categories: resource consumption (water use, energy use, solid waste, food production); natural environment (biodiversity, air and water pollution, open space); economy (economic diversity, jobs in value-added manufacturing, distribution of wealth); social environment (poverty, voter registration, library use, crime, violence, dispute resolution); education (high school graduation, literacy rate); health (birth weight, deaths from stress and immune system failures, health insurance coverage); transportation (drive-alone commuters, bike paths, fuel-efficient vehicles); and population. Gives trend data for most of the primary indicators. Of the ten indicators for which a clear trend was evident, two showed improvement, while eight worsened. Data is also given for carbon dioxide emissions, material recycling, unemployment, domestic violence, single parent families, affordable housing, and community participation. Numerical goals are suggested for water and gasoline consumption, carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, solid waste, and percent of drive-alone commuters. Contact: Sustainable Community Roundtable, 2129 Bethel Street, N.E., Olympia, WA 98506. 206/754-7842.
Oregon Benchmarks: Standards for Measuring Statewide Progress and Government Performance. Report to the 1993 Legislature. December 1992. Includes 272 indicators pertaining to people, quality of life, and the economy, with data for some indicators from 1970-1992, and numerical targets for 1995, 2000, and 2010. Areas covered include health, education and worker training, housing, crime, transportation, cultural activities, environmental quality, civic and political participation, government effectiveness, economic viability and diversity, income, employment, and energy use. A number of the 272 indicators are designated as critical measures of Oregon’s human, environmental, and economic well-being. Of the 37 critical indicators for which trend data is given, 17 showed progress toward the targets, 13 reflected movement away from the targets, and 7 displayed no clear trend. Of the five critical environmental indicators, two improved, two worsened, and one showed no trend. Of the 51 critical indicators that included both current data and a target value for the year 2000, the extent to which the data approached or exceeded the designated target level (a measure of performance expressed as a percentage of the target figure) varied from a high of 101% (the percentage of forest land and agricultural land preserved) to a low of -41%* (teen-age pregnancy rate); the average performance rating for all 51 indicators was 69%. The average rating for six environmental indicators was 78%. Of the 51 indicators, 53% (27) had values that were at least 80% of the target figure. Contact: Oregon Progress Board, 775 Summer Street, NE, Salem, OR 97310. 503/373-1220.
The Quality of Life in Pasadena: An Index for the 90s and Beyond. 1992. The Index is designed to reveal periodically how the city rates in areas reflecting the community’s overall health. The report contains 112 indicators (including 56 indicator categories and 68 sub-categories) covering ten areas: environment; health; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; education; economy and employment; housing; arts and culture; recreation and open space; transportation; and community safety. The environmental indicators include air quality, water conservation, energy efficiency, recycling and solid waste, trees, and environmental education. Many of the indicators are compared with other local, state, and national data. Quantitative targets have been set for more than a third of the 112 indicators; the targets were drawn from the Pasadena General Plan and the Healthy People 2000 National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. Pasadena is part of California’s Healthy Cities Project. The report gives trend data for more than half of the 56 indicator categories. Of the 21 indicators showing clear trends, 13 were positive and 8 negative. Of the 6 environmental indicators, 3 improved and 3 showed no clear trend. The extent to which current data for 18 of the indicators approached or exceeded the designated target level (a measure of performance expressed as a percentage of the target figure) varied from a high of 138% (for vehicle deaths) down to a low of -210%* (for syphilis cases); the average performance rating for the 18 indicators was 57%. Of the 18 indicators, nine had values that were at least 80% of the target figure. Contact: Pasadena Health Department, 100 North Garfield Avenue, Room 136, Pasadena, CA. 91109. 818/405-4562.
Green City Philadelphia: An Urban Environmental Platform for the Nineties. 1992. Contains 59 specific policy recommendations or goals in eight categories: parks and open space, preservation and shelter, solid waste and recycling, water, environmental health, food and agriculture, air and transportation, and energy. (Although the platform contains few specific indicators, they could be specified for many of the recommendations.) Green City Philadelphia is a community-wide process involving representatives from over 60 businesses, government agencies, community and non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Contact: Pennsylvania Environmental Council, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 900, Philadelphia, PA 19107. 215/563-0250.
City of Portland Energy Policy. April 1990. The policy’s overall goal is to increase energy efficiency in all sectors of the City by 10% by the year 2000. The policy includes 89 specific short- and long-term objectives in nine categories: the role of the city; energy efficiency in city-owned buildings, in residential buildings, in commercial and industrial facilities, and through land use regulations; energy efficient transportation; telecommunications as an energy efficiency strategy; energy supply; and waste reduction and recycling. The Energy Office’s program, Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) helps local businesses improve energy efficiency, save water, recycle materials and reduce waste, and identify efficient transportation alternatives. Portland participates in the multi-city Urban Carbon Dioxide Reduction Project and the Green Lights Program to improve municipal lighting systems. Contact: Energy Office, City of Portland, 1030 Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204. 503/796-7223.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
“Policy Options that Contribute to Energy Sustainability.” December 1992. Includes 58 options in nine categories: environmental protection, self-reliant resources, waste management, efficient resource delivery, community design, appropriate housing, transit alternatives, efficient production of goods and services (includes urban forestry and water conservation), and participatory society (includes education and family planning). The city’s Bureau of Energy Conservation has helped renovate energy systems in city facilities and develop commercial and residential energy conservation ordinances. Contact: Bureau of Energy Conservation, 110 McAllister Street, Room 402, San Francisco, CA 94102. 415/864-6915.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
Incorporating Concepts of Sustainability within Large Urban Areas: The San Jose Experience. By Mary Tucker. The city’s Environmental Services Department has adopted an integrated services approach that includes specific goals for water pollution control, water reclamation, integrated waste management, energy management, air quality, and water conservation. Contact: Environmental Services Department, 777 North First Street, Suite 450, San Jose, CA 95112. 408/277-5533.
“Toward a Sustainable San Jose,” Saving Cities, Saving Money. By John Hart. Describes the city’s programs for saving energy in heating, cooling, and lighting; by promoting efficient driving; and by discouraging solo driving and promoting all other means of transportation. Also reviews programs for controlling specific pollutants, conserving water and reducing wastewater flows, conserving and recycling materials, and setting efficient patterns of land use and transportation. Contact: Resource Renewal Institute, Fort Mason Center, Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123. 415/928-3774.
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
Santa Monica Sustainable City Program. September 20, 1994. Based on eight guiding principles, the report identifies 16 indicators with targets for the year 2000 and describes 58 programs in four major areas: resource conservation (7 targets and 29 programs for solid waste, water and wastewater, and energy); transportation (2 targets and 5 programs); pollution prevention and public health protection (3 targets and 17 programs); and community and economic development (4 targets and 7 programs). Data for 1990 and 1993 are given for 10 of the indicators; six showed improvement, one worsened, and three showed no change. The report outlines four steps for each of five program areas: defining the program, raising community awareness and initiating networking, integration with city policies and programs, coordinating implementation, and supporting community dialogue on sustainability. Contact: Dean Kubani, Environmental Programs Division, City of Santa Monica, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite E, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310/458-8972.
SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA
2020 Foresight: Sarasota County Design Charette. April 1993. Contains 25 guideline principles or goals in seven categories: land use (includes transportation and environment); mobility and communications (includes transportation, education, and democratic process); ecology; neighborhood (includes governance, social needs, and job creation); community (includes education and citizen involvement); agriculture and aquaculture; economics (includes recycling and incentives for self-sufficiency). Contact: Jean Meadows, Extension Agent IV, Home Economics, Cooperative Extension Service, 2900 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34237. 813/951-4240.
SEATTLE AND KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
The Sustainable Seattle 1993 Indicators of Sustainable Community: A Report to Citizens on Long-Term Trends in Our Community. November 1993. The project defines sustainability as the area’s “long-term cultural, economic, and environmental health and vitality.” The report includes 40 proposed indicators selected for data development and grouped into four broad areas: environment (biodiversity, air quality, topsoil loss, wetlands); population and resources (population growth, water use, solid waste, energy, transportation, land use, food); economy (employment, income, poverty, housing affordability, health care spending); and culture and society (infant health, crime, community service, voting, literacy, library use, participation in the arts). The report gives trend data for 20 of the indicators between 1980 and 1992, and characterizes the trends as “moving toward sustainability” (4 indicators), “moving away from sustainability” (11 indicators), or “neither toward nor away” (5 indicators). Future targets for the indicators are being considered. Contact: Sustainable Seattle, c/o Metrocenter YMCA, 909 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. 206/382-5013.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Critical Indicators II: Measuring Spartanburg County. 1991. An earlier report was published in 1989, and a third report is in preparation. Highlights indicator trends and makes comparisons between Spartanburg, the upstate region of 12 counties, and the entire state. The 46 indicators are grouped in five categories: education, family, economy, health, and crime. Omits environmental and natural resource indicators. Of the 31 indicators in the 1991 report that could be compared with those in the 1989 report, 7 (23%) showed improvement, while 24 (77%) were worse. For each indicator, a percentage improvement or worsening was computed. For example, adult education enrollment and infant mortality rates improved by 64% and 36%, respectively; while child abuse and aggravated assult rates worsened by 60% and 125%, respectively. Contact: Spartanburg County Planning and Development Department, 366 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303. 803/596-3570.
“State of the Environment: Preview 1994,” The Tennessee Conservationist, Fall 1994. Assesses the status of environmental quality and gives data for 26 indicators in eleven areas: drinking water supply; water quality (percentage of households on public sewer system, lakes and streams not impaired by pollution); air quality (number of unhealthy air events, areas with air pollution problems, number of times ozone standards exceeded, sulfur dioxide levels); hazardous chemicals (hazardous waste generation, toxic chemical releases); lead (blood lead levels, use of leaded gasoline); radiation concerns (low-level radioactive waste generation); solid waste (adequacy of garbage collection, solid waste generation, number of active landfills, average tons of waste buried daily); land use (type of use, composition of forest cover); Superfund cleanup (inventory of hazardous substance sites, number of sites with cleanup activities); underground storage tanks (progress in replacing old tanks, number of leaking tanks); wildlife (number of species by class, non-native exotic species, plant diseases, endangered species). While no specific goals are stated, trend data from the 1980s to 1994 are given for 19 of the indicators. Eleven of the indicators improved, seven worsened, and one showed no trend. The report concludes with a summary of state performance measures in 14 areas. Future reports will address specific programs, goals, and areas of improvement. Contact: Bureau of Resources Management, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243-0454. 615/532-0736.
Clean Texas 2000. Summarized in Partners for Livable Communities, The State of the American Community (Washington, DC, 1994). Cities, industries, and the state government are forming working partnerships and setting goals for recycling, water quality, and pollution prevention. Goals for the year 2000 include statewide reduction of hazardous waste generation and toxic releases by 65% or more, reduction of solid waste going to landfills by 40% or more, and education of the public about what they can do to protect the environment. Contact: Texas Water Commission, 1700 North Congress, Austin, TX 78701. 512/463-7674.
Selected Healthy City Indicators: A Research Agenda. Final Report to the Healthy City Office, City of Toronto. October 1991. Identifies 136 indicators of a healthy city in nine domains of city life: transportation, housing, production, work and employment, consumption, family and social organization, education and literacy, medical and health services, and public safety. Within each domain, the report includes measures of the three healthy city parameters of sustainability, equity, and empowerment. Contact: Healthy City Office, 20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1036, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2C2. 416/392-0099.
A Plan for a Decade of Progress: Actions for Vermont’s Economy. First Annual Report of the Vermont Partnership for Economic Progress. December 15, 1993. Describes a ten-year economic plan containing 71 recommendations to encourage a diverse and sustainable economy without compromising the integrity of the environment. Recommendations for action cover four economic sectors: agriculture and other resource-based industries, education, goods and services, travel and recreation. Preliminary benchmarks include 112 indicators in 19 categories: the economy and employment, job growth by county, leadership stability, taxes, transportation, economic development, energy, telecommunications, science and technology, agriculture and other resource-based industries, education, goods and other services, travel and recreation, health and literacy, housing, social welfare, child care, crime, and environment. Contact: Vermont Partnership for Economic Progress, Office of Policy Research, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609. 802/828-3326.
Blueprint for Sustainable Development of Virginia. January 1994. The Virginia Environmental Endowment has launched a cooperative effort to create a sustainable development vision and strategy for the state, with the participation of business, community, and academic leaders. The Blueprint includes 33 specific recommendations covering eight priority areas: managing growth, building sustainable industry, preventing pollution, sustainable energy, protecting air quality, protecting historic sites and natural areas, managing water resources, and strengthening communities. The report calls for development of a comprehensive information data base for use at both state and local levels; several of the recommendations refer to numerical goals. Contact: Environmental Law Institute, 1616 P Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036. 202/328-5150.
The Northampton Economic Forum: A Blueprint for Economic Growth. December 1992. Gives details of the planning process for promoting sustainable development in Northampton County, Virginia. Describes a vision, nine development premises, five goals and milestones, six strategies, and an action agenda. Contact: The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Coast Reserve, Brownsville, P.O. Box 158, Nassawadox, VA 23413. 804/442-3049.
WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN REGION
Report of the Partnership for Regional Excellence. July 1993. The Partnership has endorsed a set of goals that include creating a process for solving metropolitan problems; conserving natural resources; using land, energy, and fiscal resources efficiently; developing a coordinated transportation system; creating balanced development patterns for urban and suburban areas; establishing greenbelts and open space wedges to confine urban growth; ensuring availability of affordable housing; protecting air and water resources, farmlands, forests, parklands, and historic places; protecting public health; maintaining strong neighborhoods; maintaining economic vitality; and developing a social climate supportive of measures to alleviate problems associated with growth and transportation. The Partnership identified three areas most in need of regional responses for implementing the goals: land use, transportation, and environment; economic development; and quality of life. Contact: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 777 North Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4224. 202/962-3256.
The 1991 State of the Environment Report. July 1992. Includes indicators and action agendas with qualitative goals for air, water, land, fish and wildlife; and twelve “cross issues” including energy, recycling, and hazardous waste. A Citizen’s Guide to Washington’s Environment, October 1990. Provides an overview of the state’s natural environment, and gives data for a number of priority areas including air and water pollution, waste disposal, wetland loss, loss of forest and farmland, pesticide use, and the state’s contribution to global warming. Contact: Washington Environment 2010, Washington State Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600. 206/438-7701.
*Note: In the performance ratings for Jacksonville, Oregon, and Pasadena, a negative percentage (marked with an asterisk) resulted when the current indicator value was more than twice as large as the target value.
Quality of Life and Environmental Indicator Surveys
Recent surveys have analyzed some of the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the quality of life in urban areas and states, and that affect whether they can maintain acceptable living standards and remain ecologically and socioeconomically sustainable over the long run. Several of these surveys are described below.
Cities: Life in the World’s 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas. (Washington, DC, Population Crisis Committee (now Population Action International), 1990.) Ten criteria were used to rate each city’s standard of living: public safety, food costs, living space, housing standards, communications, education, public health, peace and quiet, traffic flow, and clean air. For each indicator, a rating between 1 (worst) and 10 (best) was assigned; for each city the ten ratings were totaled to give an overall urban living standards score with a possible maximum of 100. City scores ranged from a high of 86 (for Melbourne, Montreal, and Seattle-Tacoma) to a low of 19 (for Lagos, Nigeria). The results show a negative correlation between living standards and urban growth rate: the 50 cities with the highest living standards had an average population growth rate less than half that of the 50 lowest-ranked cities.
Urban Stress Test. (Washington, DC, Zero Population Growth, 1988.) Using a five-point scale, the study rated 192 U.S. cities on 11 categories using 30 indicators to assess social, economic, and environmental conditions. The categories are: population change, crowding in housing, educational attainment, violent crime, community economics, individual economics, birth rates and infant mortality rates, air pollution, hazardous waste sites, water quality and availability, and quality of sewage treatment. In each category, a score of 5 represents a “most stressful” condition; a rating of 1 denotes “least stressful.” Each city’s scores were averaged to give a combined overall urban stress score. These scores ranged from a high of 4.2 (for Gary, Indiana) to a low of 1.6 (for Cedar Rapids, Iowa). The study shows a positive correlation between the stress scores and population size: the average scores for cities with fewer than 100,000 people was 2.5; the average for cities of a million or more was 3.8.
Children’s Stress Index. (Washington, DC, Zero Population Growth, The ZPG Reporter, May 1993.) The survey includes 239 U.S. metropolitan areas, 493 counties, and 195 cities. For every locality, the Index contains scores for ten categories affecting human well-being, including indicators reflecting the well-being of children. Scores range from 0 (worst) to 10 (best). Scores for the ten categories were computed from a total of 70 social, economic, and environmental indicators; the categories are: population change and crowding in housing, family economics, community economics, maternal and child health, education and access to cultural facilities, air quality, water quality and use, toxic releases and sewage treatment, energy use and transportation. The Index lists each area’s final score (the combined total of the ten scores listed above), as well as each area’s rank compared to all others of its type. Scores for metro areas ranged from 74.1 for Burlington, Vermont (best) to 36.4 for Bakersfield, California (worst). The study shows a negative correlation between metro area size and the stress index: areas with less than 250,000 people had an average score of 53.8; areas with a million or more had an average score of 42.3.
Green Cities Index. Compiled by the World Resources Institute in the 1992 Information Please Environmental Almanac. (Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin, 1992.) Using 24 indicators of environmental quality, the study rates and ranks 64 U.S. cities on eight different categories: waste, water use and source, energy use and cost, air quality, transportation measures, toxic chemical accident risk, environmental amenities, and environmental stress. The top-ranked city was Honolulu, Hawaii with a score of 10.5; the lowest-ranked city was Santa Ana, California with a score of 43.4.
Green Metro Index. Compiled by the World Resources Institute in the 1994 Information Please Environmental Almanac. (Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin, 1993.) The study rates and ranks the 75 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The Index is based on federal data for eight environmental measures covering air and drinking water quality, past and present toxic emissions, energy use for heating and cooling residences and commercial buildings, and transportation patterns. The top-ranked metro area was New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island; the lowest-ranked area was Youngstown-Warren, Ohio.
In addition to the Green Metro Index, the 1994 Almanac compares U.S. states and Canadian provinces on per capita energy use, toxic chemical releases, per capita water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. For the 50 U.S. states and 12 Canadian provinces and territories, the Almanac provides current data for more than 60 indicators covering population, income, energy, transportation, water, solid and hazardous wastes, pollutants, biodiversity, and environmental and natural resource expenditures.
The Livable Cities Almanac. By John Tepper Marlin. (New York, HarperCollins, 1992.) Rates 110 U.S. cities and metropolitan areas using data from the federal government and from state, county, and city officials. Each city is rated on eight criteria: death rate, public safety, economic health, environment, health services, recreation, school-health education and services, and disclosure (an indicator of responsiveness to the survey’s request for information). Three rating categories were used: “best” (excellent), “middle” (good), and “worst” (poor). If these categories are assigned values of 3, 2, and 1, respectively, the highest-rated city is Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (22); the lowest-rated city is Baton Rouge, LA (7).
America’s Top Rated Cities: A Statistical Handbook. Five volumes: Northeastern, Eastern, Central Southern, Western. October 1993. Universal Reference Publications, 1355 West Palmetto Park Road, Suite 315, Boca Raton, Florida 33486. 407/997-7557.
Places Rated Almanac: Your Guide to Finding the Best Places to Live in North America. By David Savageau and Richard Boyer. Second edition. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993. Ranks 343 metropolitan areas on ten criteria: living costs, job outlook, housing, transportation, education, health care, crime, the arts, recreation, and climate.
1991-1992 Green Index: A State-by-State Guide to the Nation’s Environmental Health. By Bob Hall and Mary Lee Kerr. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1991. For each U.S. state the Index gives 256 indicators covering natural ecosystems, the built environment, and human health. The data covers 13 categories: air and water pollution, energy, transportation efficiency, hazardous and solid waste, community health, workplace health, agricultural pollution, forestry and fish, recreation and quality of life, state policy initiatives, and leadership in Congress. The study gives a total green index score and overall rank for each state. The total score is the sum of the state’s ranks for all 256 indicators, with each indicator carrying equal weight; the state with the smallest combined score has the highest overall rank. The first-ranked state is Oregon with a score of 4,583; the last-ranked state is Alabama with a score of 8,658. In a more recent study titled “Gold and Green” (in the Institute’s journal, Southern Exposure, Fall, 1994), Hall and Kerr use indicators to evaluate each U.S. state’s economic performance and its environmental stresses. The 20 economic indicators include annual pay, job opportunities, business start-ups, and workplace injury rates; the 20 environmental measures range from toxic emissions and pesticide use to energy consumption and spending for natural resource protection. The study shows that “states with the best environmental records also offer the best job opportunities and climate for long-term economic development.”
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