The much anticipated Sustainable Community Indicators Report has been published by SEDI (Sustainable Economic Development Initiative). The report provides over 100 metrics that demonstrate the integration of sustainability concepts and practices into community culture.
Metrics within the report are representative of the three core areas of sustainability: social well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental health. The indicators use data from local public, private, and non-profit organizations in conjunction with community surveys, and national archival data to show how development in Coconino County contributes to community goals that relate to all three dimensions of sustainability.
The purpose of the report is to enhance decision-making and policies that advance community self-sufficiency and sustainability. This report does not aim to define community goals and objectives, only to bring forth measures that will help gauge achievement in multiple arenas of community development. Contributors to the report include organizations in Flagstaff and throughout Coconino County.
Rich Bowen, NAU associate vice president for Economic Development and executive director of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona, said the report provides tools to “evaluate the health of community development from a holistic approach.”
“This broad coalition demonstrates the partners involved recognize the symbiotic relationship between community and economic development,” Bowen said. “We’ve set a benchmark to see if we’re progressing, and have identified areas to focus on if we identify deficiencies.”
“I am proud SEDI is contributing these indicators as a tool to support sustainable decisions by policy makers. With this report, SEDI is making an important contribution to the sustainability of economic development in our region, supported by social equity and environmental health. In coming years we will now be better able to have good feedback on the effectiveness of policy decisions dealing with economic, social and environmental issues,” says Ron Hubert, President of SEDI.
At the local level the SCIP report aims to address these issues by providing information through sustainability indicators that will help the community make meaningful decisions, moving us forward to a more sustainable future and ultimately increasing the welfare of our entire community.
“Ordinary citizens, elected officials and non-profit leaders can use the Report to measure the benefits of our community decisions. When we make better decisions we can drive better outcomes for everyone,” says William Ring, land use attorney and Chairman of the SCIP Team.
The Report was developed with support from NAU’s Technology Research Investment Fund. SEDI will formally presented the Report to Dr. Haeger, President of Northern Arizona University and Dr. Laura Huenneke, Vice President for Research during a public ceremony at the Applied Research and Development Building yesterday.
Photo: Melissa Meno, Jaina Moan, Ron Hubert, Laura Huenneke, Carol Bousquet, NAU President John Haeger