A widely-followed quality-of-life dashboard that has tracked the San Diego region over the past eight years found no overall change between 2015 and 2016.
The Center for Sustainable Energy’s Equinox Project, in a report released Monday, found that six quality-of-life indicators have improved, six have declined and three were unchanged.
Climate action, electrified transportation, employment, renewable energy, residential electricity and water use indicators improved, while landfill waste disposal, beach water quality, housing affordability, traffic, entrepreneurship and air quality were down. Park access, transportation choices and cross-border metrics were unchanged.
Starting this year, the dashboard is available to the public online at SDQualityofLife.org.
“Decision-makers, community leaders, businesses and residents now can use the dashboard when they need it, and the new online platform allows us to update data as soon as it becomes available to better track changes throughout the year.” said Len Hering, executive director of the center.
Among the key findings in the dashboard report released Monday:
- Economy — The local unemployment rate continues to fall, dropping to 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
- Renewable Energy — Solar energy systems continue to increase with new installations up 12 percent in 2016 and totaling nearly 30,000.
- Water — San Diego County residents reduced water use by nearly 15 percent from 2015 to 2016, the most recorded in over 17 years.
- Housing — Housing affordability continues to decline with the median single-family home price increasing by 7.2 percent in 2016.
- Waste — San Diego’s per capita waste disposal has been on the rise since 2012 and is the worst for a major urban area in the state.
- Transportation — Sales of new electric vehicles continued to rise, however, commuters spent 9 percent more time stuck in traffic in 2016.
- Beach Water Quality — The county’s total number of beach closures and water quality advisories in 2016 increased by nearly 14 percent.
“The Quality of Life Dashboard impacts our region by measuring and benchmarking important environmental and economic issues,” said Cody Hooven, the city of San Diego’s chief sustainability officer.
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