Successful implementation of the Creating Sustainable Places vision depends on informed decision making. Providing the most accurate, timely information in a format that is easily understandable to a large, diverse group of people is always a challenge. Tools can help improve decision making by cutting through some of these challenges. Tools are available to help participants visualize possibilities, communicate with each other and with community stakeholders, and make community decisions.
Early in the Creating Sustainable Places initiative, MARC and its partners identified the lack of technical resources and tools as a common obstacle to promoting a more sustainable region. For example, a common barrier to promoting sustainability is understanding the economic impacts of various proposals — how will a proposed development affect the bottom line for the developer and government agency? How can local governments assess the full range of environmental, economic and social impacts of a development proposal — for both the developer and the government agency?
In order to help close the gap on this lack of technical resources and tools, the Creating Sustainable Places initiative is creating a digital toolbox which consolidates some of the most prevalent and useful tools for planners into one resource, with helpful summary information and case studies.
In creating the digital toolbox, we looked for tools that are: