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Esri Canada congratulates Baes of Fundy, the 2nd Runner-Up of the App Challenge 2019!

App: HUGS (Halifax Urban Green Space)

Hosted on GitHub:

Mission statement

Access to public green space has become a cornerstone of sustainable urban development. Whether used to unwind on a nice day or as landmarks when giving directions to your home, green spaces provide both social and environmental benefits to the surrounding community1. While many Canadian cities are known for their picturesque parks and lush greenery, a recent article has highlighted the strain that urban growth is putting on green spaces2. The uncertainty regarding the future of Canadian green spaces has left many people wondering how green their community is.

Nova Scotia’s Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is not only the fastest growing urban area in Atlantic Canada, but it was also recently rated the country’s seventh greenest city3. In order to balance its growth and greenery, the HRM released the Halifax Green Network Plan in 2018 to promote the long-term sustainability of the region4. Among its proposals, this plan suggests establishing a standard minimum distance/travel time for residents to access local green spaces. Our goal is to help Haligonians determine whether their neighbourhood meets this green standard.

The Halifax Urban Green Space (HUGS) application is designed to connect Haligonians with their local green spaces in two meaningful ways. First, HUGS provides users with metrics that evaluate the quality of green spaces in their community. Second, the app locates and provides information on green space facilities within a user-defined radius. These features give users an indication of their community’s sustainability.


1: City of Toronto. (2015). Green City: Why Natures Matters to Health. Retrieved from: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-83420.pdf
2: Attfield, P. (2017, May 25). Growing cities struggle to stay green. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/growing-cities-struggle-to-stay-green/article35107379/
3: Pretty, B. (2018). Canada’s Top 10 Greenest Cities. Retrieved from: https://www.getmysa.com/blog/energy-savings/canadas-top-10-greenest-cities/
4: Halifax Regional Municipality. (2018). Halifax Green Network Plan, pg 90-3. Retrieved from: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/about-the-city/regional-community-planning/HGNP-Final%20Report_20180726_updated.pdf

Video Presentation


Team Members

Liam Gowan: I am currently a student at the Centre of Geographic Sciences - NSCC, Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. Here, I am enrolled in the GIS concentration within the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences. In 2018, I graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Computer Science with a specialization in communications technology and cyber security. I enjoy web programming, online mapping applications, drones, cycling, kayaking, and making homemade wine. For more information, please go to www.liamgowan.ca.

Dani Kogan: I am a student at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (NSCC), Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. I am currently enrolled in the Advanced Diploma in Geospatial Data Analytics Program, where I learn about data mining, spatial analysis, location analysis and machine learning. I graduated from Dalhousie University in 2018 with bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Biology. In my free time I enjoy working out, swimming, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

Kaleb McNeil: I am a student at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, NS. I am enrolled in the Advance Diploma in Geographic Science program with a concentration is GIS. I love spatial relationships and applying GIS technologies to improve public understanding of complex social issues. I graduated from Memorial University with a BA (2016) and a MSc (2018) in Geography.

Andrea Zagar: I’m a student in the Advanced GIS Diploma program at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. I graduated from Western University in 2017 with an undergraduate degree in Software Engineering. To me, GIS is an exciting combination of geography, programming, and data analysis that provides a unique perspective of the world around us. When I’m not working on maps, you can find me reading, cooking, stargazing or exploring the outdoors.