Criterion Planners/Engineers Inc. is a Portland, Oregon urban planning
firm specializing in software tools for community design and decision-making.
One of the firm's principal tools is INDEX(Trademark), a GIS-based model
that is customized for individual communities and agencies to better understand
local issues and set priorities.
The software uses GIS mapping to track a wide variety of livability indicators
at the scale of a single neighborhood or an entire region. Indicators
related to the built environment include land-use, housing density, employment
density, transportation routes, infrastructure location and service levels.
Other indicators help to accurately measure natural assets of a place.
INDEX can track over 85 specific performance indicators including pedestrian
safety, access to grocery stores, access to bus stops, street tree cover,
land use diversity, and bicycle network connectivity.
Such information aids citizens in assessing present community capacity
and guiding future choices. It is designed for use by a wide variety of
players: planning staff, citizen organizations, design firms, policy advocates
and decision-making bodies. Its clarity of visual presentation enables
both citizens and professionals to easily view and understand information.