Boxed in by the nation’s second largest urban area, the world’s busiest international border and the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and Sonoran Desert, the San Diego region faces considerable stress in its efforts to maintain a high quality of life. Environmentally, we have tremendous biodiversity, climate zones varying from beaches to mountain tops and settings ranging from compact, inner city parks to open farmland. Economically, we cover the full range of the American experience and struggle to maintain our prosperity and share in our wealth. Only by measuring, tracking and benchmarking where our region’s been, where it is now and where it needs to go in the future can we hope to successfully manage, improve and balance our future quality of life – for all.
About the Region
A strong environment and healthy economy is essential to a better life here in San Diego. Why? San Diego is the nation's fifth largest county and the second largest county in California. Our current population is around 3.3 million people and estimates predict we will grow to more than 4 million residents by 2050. Most of growth will be driven by natural increase, meaning our children and grandchildren. Beyond our residents, we host 35 million visitors per year who spend $10.8 billion and come for San Diego's beautiful weather, beaches and fun!
Our region also is among the most biologically rich counties in the nation, according to The Nature Conservancy. It is culturally diverse as well, sitting on the border and with no single race or ethnic group comprising more than 50 percent of the total population. With a rising population, what kind of San Diego do we want to leave for future generations? Of course, one that maintains both a strong economy and healthy environment.
About the Dashboard
The first San Diego Regional Quality of Life Dashboard was released in 2010 to shine a spotlight on questions that truly matter to San Diegans. Using 15 environmental and economic indicators, the dashboard measures and benchmarks trends throughout the region tracking a central theme: Is the quality of life improving?
Drawing on strong relationships with environmental groups, government agencies and the business community, we can provide a balanced snapshot of the region’s well-being using credible data, clear metrics and ongoing benchmarks. The dashboard tracks our region's progress on critical, interlinking quality-of-life issues and provides examples of where things are working and ideas for how we can improve.
Why it's Important?
Quality-of-life issues are vitally important to our residents and businesses. Some 77 percent of San Diego County voters believe that we can have a clean environment and a strong economy at the same time without having to choose one over the other. In addition, 72 percent of voters believe that the San Diego region should take a leadership position in setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Equinox Project’s set of indicators is intended to be a quick and easily digestible snapshot, not unlike the set of gauges on a car’s dashboard that tell you how well your vehicle is running and when there is a problem. These indicators support the region’s leaders, including policymakers, community groups and businesses, in identifying challenges and addressing solutions to ensure long-term improvement in our quality of life.