How do you measure the wealth of a community?

Median income, the number of cheeseburgers the average resident can buy yearly, is one way. Consumer goods purchased, standard of living, total tax revenue, the number of corporate headquarters and conventions, perhaps these factor in.

What about BICAS, where you can go to work on your bike in a friendly environment with knowledgable people to help you for a few bucks? Would it be worth more if they charged fifty an hour?

Do we have a metric for community gardens and farmers markets, for rainwater harvesting along city streets (invented here in Tucson), for cyclovia and second saturdays downtown?

Most disposable income beyond necessities goes to things that make people happy – or that they get to try to be happier. So shouldn’t a metric for the wealth of a community count things that make people happy whether or not they cost dollars?

Tucson is a rich city, make no mistake.

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