to Measuring Progress
The well-being of a community or nation can be measured in many ways.
Traditional measurements often analyze a single issue by itself, such as the number of new
jobs in a particular community.
But such an approach is one-dimensional, and does not reveal the
quality of those jobs or their impact on the local economy. More meaningful than simply
new jobs, measuring the number of children living in poverty indicates the relationship of
social health to local economic performance.
New measurements called "Indicators of Sustainability" are
designed to provide information for understanding and enhancing the relationships between
the economic, energy use, environmental, and social elements inherent in long-term
Indicators serve as valuable tools for profiling
local energy consumption patterns as a sustainability benchmark.
Communities such as Santa Monica, Chicago, and Jacksonville are using
indicators to gather and evaluate information on both current
energy use and future alternatives for the residential, commercial,
industrial and transportation sectors. This information is vital
in planning for and managing the energy resources that will
support sustainable development.
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