Penn IUR, with funding from the Ford Foundation, worked with a team of Penn’s city planning doctoral students to develop the Sustainable Communities Indicator Catalog (SCIC) a web-based tool that enables communities to benchmark and track their progress toward sustainability. Penn IUR consulted extensively with experts and stakeholders to inform the development of this tool, which was launched in September 2014.

The SCIC is a set of flexible indicators scalable to communities of varying sizes and goals. Its searchable database allows communities to select indicators appropriate to their projects and desired outcomes, making it highly customizable. The SCIC highlights twenty priority indicators, describing how each relates to sustainability and detailing its use.

Penn IUR developed the SCIC for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC), an initiative of three federal agencies: Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In creating the SCIC, Penn IUR built on its research from previous years and consulted closely with representatives from the PSC agencies, with Sustainable Communities grantees, and with other stakeholders and experts. In March 2013, the DOT hosted an expert workshop and, in May 2013, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy held a second workshop for expert consultation. The Penn IUR team received additional feedback after presenting to professional associations in the United States and abroad, including the 2013 Federal Reserve Community Development Conference, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Urban Affairs Association, and others.

For more information, read the press release announcing the SCIC launch.

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