10 Tracking Progress
The Plan uses and identifies several data points and measures that can be used to track the success of the plan over time. These measurements fall into three major categories. These categories are described below and guidance on how and when to update these measurements is provided.
Equity Metrics – Equity metrics are measurements to identify how equitable opportunities are available within the community and how equitable are the impacts of change on the community. The Equitable Growth Framework provides a number of measurements to create an index for assessing access to job opportunities, access to housing opportunities, access to essential goods and services, the areas experiencing environmental injustice, and areas that are vulnerable to displacement due to new investment and/or development. These equity measures are used to identify systemic issues related to equity and track progress over the long term. As a result, the equity measures cannot track change over short time period. These equity measures should be re-evaluated at major plan review milestones (e.g. every 5 to 10 years) to recalibrate the focus of equity efforts. The exception of this rule is the identification of areas that vulnerable to displacement. Market and demographic conditions can change quickly in vulnerable areas and evaluation of these areas on a more routine basis (annually) is likely needed.
Policy Framework Objectives – Each plan Goal includes a set of policy objectives. These objectives are measurable changes that are desired as a result of the plan policies in that goal. A target metric needs to be identified and defined for each objective including the data source and methodology for measurement. The objective measurements should be updated annual to track the success of the plan. A committee should be formed to create defined methodology for measurement and tracking of the objectives. The committee should also provide direction on whom (e.g. which department) is responsible for tracking of each objective. The Implementation Committee recommended above could serve this role. A suggested list of metrics for each plan objective is provided in the Plan Manuals and Metrics.
Charlotte Future 2040 Dashboard – The Charlotte Future 2040 Dashboard is the public facing tracking of success and implementation of the plan. A narrower, publicly consumable set of measurements from the Equity Measures and Policy Objectives should be created and updated regularly and presented to the public. Measures that address major plan objectives/big ideas and can be more regularly updated should be included. The Dashboard should also include tracking of implementation by illustrating which major programs/projects within the plan have been implemented.
Case Study: Indy Vitals
Plan 2020 is the Indianapolis regions community vision plan (much like a comprehensive plan) that lays out the future vision for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. IndyVitals is an online tool that was created to help measures the impact of Plan 2020 on the community. The tools tracks trends aligned with 7 goal areas (aligned with Plan 2020) for Marion County’s Neighborhood Areas. IndyVitals compares trends since 2010 in each neighborhood to other neighborhood areas, the county, the Indianapolis metro area, and the State of Indiana. The tool is similar to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer. However, the platform goes further through its use of indicators and desired directions/outcomes for each metric that tie the measurement to the desired community objective. The comparative structure highlights neighborhoods that are lacking in any of the topic areas compared to other geographies. This platform could also be used to help track private and public investment in each area.