Shifting public policy to achieve a sustainable economy, a healthy environment and a just society.


Regional Indicators

Suburban sprawl, traffic congestion, and air pollution dramatically illustrate how a certain way of life in the United States is becoming less sustainable. More troubling still are the impacts of regional growth on communities of color, where there is a widening gap between low-income families and the wealthiest Americans.

Using progress indicators that account for both the positive and negative impacts of development, Redefining Progress’ Regional Sustainability Initiative (RSI) aims to:

  • Promote local accountability for sustainable development;
  • Build leadership capacity to address the relationship between economic growth, environmental health, and social justice; and
  • Steer regional policies towards social, economic, and ecological sustainability.

The RSI integrates research, tools, and advocacy to help regions measure their Ecological Footprint, track Genuine Progress Indicators, calculate and mitigate the impact of development, and localize their economies, among other initiatives.

For example, our prototype Big Box Calculator can be used by large-format retail stores to assess their footprint and guide green building design. (Download the report: The Big Box Calculator.)

Sustainability Indicators

Scenarios for Sustainability

Our key urban planning tool, Scenarios for Sustainability (S2), provides decision makers with quantitative information about the degree to which alternative planning and policy options achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability objectives.

S2 adapts elements of two proven sustainability indicators—the Ecological Footprint and the Genuine Progress Indicator—to create a flexible land-use planning framework for localities and regions.

S2 is a powerful tool for analyzing and communicating the sustainability of competing land use scenarios to key decision makers and the communities they represent.

For examples of recent applications that demonstrate S2’s usefulness in urban planning scenarios of differing scales, download the reports. "A Sustainable Future for Pleasanton: Evaluating Land Use Alternatives" (PDF), featuring the Hacienda Business Park development; and "Setting the Standard in Coyote Valley" (PDF).

To learn more about S2 or other RSI projects, contact John Talberth, Sustainability Indicators Program Director.

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