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The Triple Bottom Line Tool


The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) tool is supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and can be used to assess how well a given city project aligns economically, environmentally, and socially. Knowing how potential investments can be maximized helps community planners and local leaders realize which projects are worth pursuing, which receive priority, and which require more planning prior to implementation. This is particularly true as communities seek out which projects enhance infrastructure and livability for older residents.

Key Points

TBL development programs, policies or activities are designed to create, retain or sustain prosperity over time (see About This Tool section). Developed by a team headed by Dr. Janet Hammer from Portland State University, the tool provides the user with three scores that align with the three goals. Each goal has two parts: performance areas and measures that deliver performance goals. Scores are based on a scale of 0-100 “indicating the investment's degree of alignment or accomplishment.” Baselines were generated using 31 community indicator programs, 35 TBL existing assessment tools and 42 search term combinations in four academic databases.

How to Use

The site states that the TBL tool can be used for design, decision, communication, or educational purposes. Any tool that can help measure potential effectiveness prior to investment is certainly worth exploring. Moreover, the provision of scores in each of the three areas should inform planners how to communicate or adjust potential projects. To learn more about the TBL tool, users should first watch the video on the homepage and read more about the tool’s potential to help their own community planning efforts.

View the website: The Triple Bottom Line Tool

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