There are two main parts to Monitoring and Reporting - the development and use of Indicators and the ongoing process of monitoring our progress as a community.
Many people who read the Sustainable Kingston Plan will be looking for ways to measure progress and success. We recognize the value of indicators as a tool to help direct action. They help to tell a story of change within the community by looking at trends in key areas, for example, the number of transit rides taken per year. To support Sustainable Kingston, 39 core indicators have been selected and will be reviewed every year in an effort to learn more about how Kingston is changing and whether or not we are on the right path to a more sustainable future.
Indicators are almost always based on a number and a unit of measure; so for instance, in public transit we will measure trips per person. Where it gets interesting is when there is a change from year to year. The big questions are:
Source: City of Kingston Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, 2003.
The Sustainable Kingston Plan will include indicators to illustrate and quantify performance in each of the theme areas at a high level. Indicators are linked to themes (rather than to theme statements, goals, or actions), to emphasize the objective of becoming more sustainable in these key areas. Indicators within the Sustainable Kingston Plan will be revisted annually and used to identify areas for community action.
There are also a myriad of detailed indicators used by various community organizations to measure progress within their respective areas of activity. In addition to its core set of indicators, the Sustainable Kingston Plan will reference many indicators collected, analyzed, and reported by community organizations to provide a fulsome picture of sustainabiltiy trends within Kingston. Community Partners are invited to use this information to help set their own organizational priorities as well as associated actions, targets, and indicators.
To develop the initial list of indicators, the team reviewed several local and national indicator programs and compiled a long list of indicators, relevant theme statements, the measurement unit, data source, rationale for selection, the reporting timeframe, and the suitability for benchmarking. The project management team also worked with various organizaitons in Kingston to identify indicators that are already being monitored on a regular basis. Each of the proposed indicators was evaluated using the following critiera:
The selected indicators provide good information, are collected regularly, and are freely available to Sustainable Kingston. Indicators will be reported and reviewed during the annual sustainability conference. Indicator Details are in Appendix D of the Sustainable Kingston Plan.