Place Studies

Imagine ~ Sustain ~ Understand ~ Engage

Tag: social

Place Studies Summer Projects: SRVCdata.org

Sam Jacobson and Yash Bhutwala created SRVCdata.org as a resource for social organizations to measure how well their programs are addressing issues in the central Susquehanna Valley. Their website includes data resources such as reports dealing with health, security, demographics, economic growth, and much more. The website also provides a trendalyzer, a visualization software that creates an animation of a plot of two different variables and then tracks them over time. Individuals can also use the website to learn more about the five counties of the Central Susquehanna Valley through the qualitative data and reports they provide.

The website allows sufficiency when trying to locate primary data relating to these counties. For although the primary data they have collected exists throughout the web, it takes much time and effort to uncover. The website pulls all this information together to make it easier for people to find, and use. Sam and Yash believe that organizations will be able to benefit from the use of this website, and it will encourage them in addressing important issues and facilitating change in these counties.

Sam and Yash are still working on further perfecting the website, and organizing the data for more sufficient and accessible usage. They believe that the website will be a useful tool to provide easy navigation and easy understanding of important information regarding the five counties in the Central Susquehanna Valley, and thereby promote change and improvement.

Place Studies Summer Projects: Genuine Progress Indicator

This summer, Zach Moon worked on the creation of a Genuine Progress Index for Pennsylvania, the first of it’s kind.

A Genuine Progress Index, or GPI for short, is a metric used to measure the health of a nations economy. While it is similar to the more commonly known GDP (Growth Domestic Product), the GDI takes into account environmental and social factors that GDP does not include. It allows us to know whether the environmental impact of the production of goods and services hurts or helps the economy.

The GDI measures sustainability over time, and it doesn’t just add in finished products but also subtracts costs that affect sustainability over time. Such as the costs of commuting, and the cost of air pollution.

With the creation of the GPI for Pennsylvania, Zach says we must now ask ourselves, “Can we scale our index down to measure regional and local sustainability in a quantitative way?”

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