Recently at the RAEDC Third Quarter Investor Event a presentation was given overviewing what sustainability means for the Rockford Region as well as unveiling a regional sustainability indicators project, aptly titled "The Rockford Region Indicators Project". Below is an introduction to this exciting new program for Boone and Winnebago Counties.
The ability of the Rockford Region to remain economically viable depends on our collective capacity to address social and environmental issues in unison, not one at the expense of the other, with current economic challenges. Measuring our Region’s sustainability is the crucial first step to competitively attract and retain quality jobs. Regions already measuring sustainability have their priorities set. This means they address pressing economic, social, and environmental issues more effectively and efficiently; they can tell the problem areas sooner. As a result, they remain the most economically successful.
The Rockford Region can overcome the challenges we are currently facing by using this program to better inform the decisions we make as individuals, as businesses and organizations, governments, and as a Region that affect our sustainability. Collectively it is our responsibility to ensure our Region is the best place it can be for future generations. We KNOW the Rockford Region can be truly sustainable. We can achieve ongoing social equity, environmental quality, and economic prosperity…in the good times and in the difficult ones such as right now. We look forward to working with you on developing the Rockford Region Indicators Project, and on helping our Region Rockforward!
We are currently preparing program funding. Once in full-swing, this project will pull data together into a repository and be an on-going publically-accessible resource to find and understand data. Based on the Boston Indicators Project, ten key areas will be measured (see picture below).
This project will be an ongoing effort to identify assets as well as for improvement in the Rockford Region's efforts to be sustainable. Understanding what assets exist, where potential areas of improvement lie, and how geographically this is all breaking down by neighborhood empowers the public and private sector to better address the community’s social, environmental, and economic needs. In short, the ongoing data collection enables the Boston Region to make more strategic decisions in their quest to be a more sustainable Region. The picture below illustrates this process.
A Call to Action: The Project
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