• About the Project
Shaping the Future

Welcome to Shaping the Future

Monday, October 15, 2012
Boston Indicators Project Team

Welcome to the new Boston Indicators Blog.  We hope that this can be a forum to share new perspectives and ideas about how best to improve life in Boston and in the Greater Boston region and a place to engage in dialogue about where we hope to be and see ourselves, our neighborhoods, city and region in the year 2030, Boston’s 400th anniversary.

Welcome to the Boston Indicators Project’s Blog, which has two related streams – Shaping the Future and Thinking About Indicators.

The Shaping the Future blog encourages visitors and contributors to engage in dialogue about where we hope to be and see ourselves, our neighborhoods, city and region in the year 2030, Boston’s 400th anniversary – and offers a way to share knowledge about key challenges and opportunities, promising and best practices from Greater Boston and around the world, and options for shared action. 

The Thinking About Indicators blog stream takes a step back to reflect on issues such as access to quality data, what measures provide the best leverage for change and building community capacity to use data to drive change.  

Both streams provide space for Bostonians of all ages and backgrounds to share your thoughts, commitment, excitement and lessons learned about real-world solutions to our communities’ and the region’s challenges  as well as opportunities for meaningful dialogue across a variety of perspectives in Boston and beyond. (See also the Hub

The launch of this blog marks a new era for our project, which was founded in 1997 to:

  • democratize access to data and information about our city and region;
  • foster informed  public discourse; and
  • track progress on shared civic goal. 

The Boston Indicators Project’s framework of indicators, created by hundreds of participants over several years of deliberation, has been called one of the most comprehensive in the world. The indicators are first presented as positive goals for the future in ten categories, with one of more measures for each indicator that, together, provide an objective way to assess current conditions and trends and progress over time.

The indicators allow us all to explore patterns of relationship in Boston and the Greater Boston region: between individual households and the community at large; between and across neighborhoods and between neighborhoods and the city as a whole; between the City of Boston and other cities and towns in the region and the region as a whole;  and our region’s many contributions to national and global trends as well as ways in which we are being affected by those larger trends and forces.    

Since its inception, the Boston Indicators Project has hosted scores of convenings in which residents, stakeholders and experts within and across sectors have offered visions for Boston in 2030 and developed a consensus on key leverage points, together creating an emerging Civic Agenda, with measurable goals to track progress.

For almost a decade, the Boston Indicators Project has also tracked and reported progress on that  Civic Agenda in four major areas:

Our theory of change – developed and articulated by hundreds of participants and affirmed by thousands more – is that by working together to achieve the Civic Agenda’s high-leverage but realistic and measurable goals, Greater Boston will become more inclusive, fair, economically competitive and environmentally sustainable.

We hope that the Civic Agenda and the indicators supporting it inspire action to improve our communities where need persists, and to sustain our successes. 

Our new website also offers new high quality data and tools for analysis visualization, Weave, and the MetroBoston DataCommon through our partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and with computer science faculty and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The site also offers Highlights of key trends and challenges in the ten sectors in which we track change. We hope that in addition to engaging in dialogue on this blog, you will also explore these other parts of the site, and let us know what you think and how we can make it more useful for you and your friends and colleagues.

Please share your perspective, your experience and your ideas about how best to improve life in Boston and in the Greater Boston region – for today and for our common future.

Thank you.

Charlotte, Jessica & Nse
The Boston Indicators Project Team
  • Challenges and Solutions
  • Thinking about Indicators
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