Monday, November 17, 2008

Quality of Life in the Pikes Peak region

Much of the work we do here at COPPeR is dedicated to cultivating understanding about the intrinsic value of the arts. We understand that a robust, healthy arts and cultural community has the power to boost our region’s economic vitality, education and innovation, tourism, downtown and neighborhood development, cultural understanding and civic pride.

So naturally, we're interested in the quality of life of our region. A new community initiative, spearheaded by United Way, started in 2006 to try to track our current demographics and quality of life. The data, or indicators, are quantitative measures of the quality of community life. They reflect a combination of idealism (what we would like to measure) and pragmatism (what we are able to measure) in nine different categories, which reflect a comprehensive view of the community - from transportation to education, from teen pregnancy to child reading levels. It is clear that ignoring any one of these areas has a negative ripple effect on the others. In turn, when these areas are strong they positively influence our lives in a variety of ways.

In 2008, I had the honor of working the Arts, Culture, and Recreation portion of the 2008 Quality of Life Indicators Project. The report was published this Fall. Click here to read the report online.

In 2009, the report will be linked to the Dream City initiative. This is an exciting opportunity because now, as we have the tools and systems in place to determine where we are now, we can link key areas of performance to methods for producing a better quality of life in the future, and inspire decision-making and action.

I encourage you all to read the report. Planning for the 2009 report is underway.

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