As Salem grows, the city should be evaluated on everything from its housing affordability to its tree canopy to people's access to frequent transit. That is the broad consensus from the community and others who provided input as part of the Our Salem project.
Late last year, the City of Salem asked the community how Salem should be evaluated as it grows and develops, and 20 measures – or indicators – rose to the top as most important out of a list of more than 80 possibilities.
The top indicators include complete neighborhoods, housing affordability, bicycle and pedestrian use, access to frequent transit, property tax revenue, total greenhouse gas emissions, tree canopy, and traffic/pedestrian accidents. The complete list of top indicators can be found on the Our Salem project website.
The community and others provided input on potential indicators at a public workshop on December 5, advisory committee meetings in November, and an online survey in December. More than 80 people attended the public workshop, and 260 people responded to the online survey. By and large, the input from the public was consistent. For example, many indicators that survey respondents saw as most useful also received the most votes by participants at the public workshop.
The City, working with a consultant team, will use the indicators to examine the existing conditions of the city and how it could grow in the future under current policies. The work is part of the first phase of the Our Salem project, which is a multi-year project to update the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan.
This first phase will inform critical discussions and decisions about future growth in the city. The community identified a need to develop a vision for growth and development as part of the strategic planning process in 2017.
A second public workshop on the Our Salem project will be held later this spring. To learn more about Our Salem, visit the project webpage.