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Define. Measure. Act. Those are the three words used to describe the city of Santa Monica’s latest Wellbeing Project. The project aims to define wellbeing as it relates to the roughly 92,000 person community and monitor various aspects of this wellbeing. The aim? Create a Local Wellbeing Index which will be used to get a sense of the communities’ strengths and challenges, and to use this information to guide city policies and allocate resources to improve conditions needed for the city to thrive.
The project defines ‘wellbeing’ as personal satisfaction with life, influenced by social connections, economic stability, safety, surroundings, employment fulfillment, civic engagement and health. It will use quantitative and qualitative information, such as crime statistics and school attendance rates, as well as personal surveys and behavioral analytics.
Santa Monica hopes that its Wellbeing Index will be adopted around the US to help direct local government policy; policy that is driven by evolving citizen need and desire rather than political whim.
A city that understands the needs of its people will be better able to serve them. When cities can better address need, desire and wellbeing, citizens will in turn be willing to invest in their communities and environment. Improving wellbeing for all.