Measuring Community Quality of Life: The Ann Arbor Quality Indicators Project

Article

Jackson, Jeff   (1997, ASQ)   Ann Arbor Area 2000, Ann Arbor, MI

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10646    May 1997    pp. 965-973
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Article Abstract

The Quality Indicators Project (QIP) in Ann Arbor, MI produces yearly information on the quality of life in nine key areas, each of which covers at least four indicators. The nine areas (and example indicators) are: economy (unemployment data); education (suspension rate); government (expenditure per capita); health (per capita cigarette packs sold); mobility (miles of bikepaths); natural environment ( waste disposal volume); public safety (crime rates); recreation and culture (public library circulation); and social environment (domestic assault incidents). Results in the 1996 annual report included: a sharp drop in violent crime, auto theft, and burglary and a sharp rise in other crime; an increase in library circulation; and a falling student dropout rate. Year-to-year trends include: a decrease in unemployment and increases in recycling, public library circulation, cost of government, and student drug use. Gold stars awarded to indicators showing very good news in 1996 included those for the physician to population ratio and accessibility for the handicapped. Red flags for indicators warranting major concern included ozone measurements and auto accidents involving injuries. Red flag actions groups are working on some of these problems. A 1996 survey of residents produced 254 responses and corroborated much of the data found in the indicators. For the future, the community is looking for the best areas in which to invest its improvement energies.

Keywords

Government,Case study,Quality of life,Measurement and control


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