The Western North Carolina Vitality Index reports on the 27 counties of Western North Carolina through the perspectives of the region’s natural, social, built, and economic environments. Designed to assist local governments, interest groups, and the public in furtherance of the Mountain Resources Commission’s overall mission to “take care of our natural resources to enhance and sustain quality of life and ensure the long-term health of our region and our people.”
A Holistic View of the Community
The WNC Vitality Index is a tool developed by NEMAC in collaboration with the Mountain Resources Commission, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, and the U.S. Forest Service as an expansion of the Western North Carolina Report Card on Forest Sustainability (also available at www.wncforestreportcard.org). This resource provides the information necessary to protect our region’s abundant and unique natural resources, promote development and planning that accommodates healthy growth, preserve the heritage and culture that defines our communities while strengthening public health, and improve the region’s local economic activity and expand its influence.
Informing Decision Makers
The WNC Vitality Index provides planners and decision makers the information necessary to inspire quality discussion and craft informed decisions on issues affecting Western North Carolina’s abundant natural resources and its potential for sustainable growth.
The Index draws data from local professionals whose expertise ranges from agriculture to geology to cultural heritage. The information portrayed reflects the diverse elements that make up Western North Carolina.
NEMAC worked to design an easily-navigable website, allowing the public to interface with this data in a positive and informative way.
In addition to the website, NEMAC also designed a booklet version of the Index. This downloadable Index can either be viewed onscreen as an interactive PDF, or printed into book form.
NEMAC created a geographic information system (GIS) map viewer to let users interact with the datasets that went into rendering the Index’s maps.