Vital communities are places where residents work together and achieve a balance of positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes. As rural communities face ongoing changes it is important that leaders and residents pay close attention to community vitality. By focusing on vitality, leaders can figure out exactly where coordinated community action and strategic planning is needed during tough times.
Oregon State University Extension Services and Oregon State University's Rural Studies Program has partnered with communities in a multi-year process to define community goals, operationalize those goals into data points and targets, collect data, and measure progress towards goals. With a set of goals and a clear way of measuring the attainment of those goals, community leaders can initiate or continue policies and programs designed to bolster vitality.