New Tool for Measuring Progress of Sustainability in Austin
"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it," goes an old quote from Lord Kelvin, the 19th century mathematical physicist; the quote was adopted more recently by those who sought to change large organizations and bureaucracies.
Austin's Office of Sustainability measures 50 variables from the city's departments, but this information had previously been available only in annual reports. In order to make their work more accessible to a wider range of people, the department undertook an initiative to put all of this information into one updatable dashboard. This online tool could provide a dynamic resource updated with information on the city’s performance relating to sustainability goals. "The dashboard tracks 50 indicators across 10 categories, including food and health, energy, water, built environment, and zero waste." Reports Jen Kinney of Next City.
Though the final product may be digital, the collection of the data that builds it is still decidedly analogue. Kinney reports that the department seeks to automate the process moving forward, getting the data from the city to the people as quickly and accurately as possible.