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App: AccessToronto

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Mission statement

Public Space and Sustainability

A sustainable community is one that is consistently improving and evolving to meet the needs and goals of the individuals who reside within it. More people are choosing to live in cities and it is projected that 75 percent of the overall population will live in an urban environment by the mid-century. The sustainability of future communities depends on access to public space that recognizes the specific needs and desires of a community.

What is Accessibility and Public Space?

Enacting public accessibility involves the process of designing space functionality to ensure usability for individuals with a wide range of abilities and needs. Ultimately, this will lead to public spaces being accessible to all. A public space is an area that is intended to be used by the general public, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. These public gathering places include but are not limited to:

Benefit of Public Spaces

Urban public spaces provide many benefits to cities and the communities within them. Open public spaces encourage community building and engagement, strengthen environmental connectivity and promote economic growth. Access to public space fosters a sense of belonging which directly influences the sustainability of community prosperity. Furthermore, a well used public space is a great indicator of the overall quality of an urban environment.

The App: AccessToronto

In Ontario, the laws surrounding accessibility are varied. This means that it is not guaranteed that a public space will be accessible to everyone. The intended goal of AccessToronto is to support sustainability as it relates to community well-being and urban development by highlighting information regarding public space accessibility. This information can be used by community members as well as the City of Toronto and those interested in urban planning. This application will help combat the issue of inaccessibility of public spaces in the Greater Toronto Area by allowing community members to input and search locations that may meet their specific accessibility needs. AccessToronto also allows users to input new information or edit existing information about attributes of specific locations. When barriers to accessibility are addressed, communities are strengthened and elevated, aiding in the sustaining momentum of urban advancements.

Video Presentation


Team Members

Catherine Ozon: Freedom is her greatest treasure, Catherine has a deep love for adventure and travel. With a B.A in Geography from Mount Allison University, Catherine is completing an Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences with a concentration in Remote Sensing at the Centre of Geographic Sciences. Her enthusiasm has no bounds, Catherine possess a great sense of humor and open mindedness.

Mikaela Bennett: An optimistic go-getter capable of finishing several things at once, often before lunch, Mikaela is a graduate from the University of Guelph with a B.A in Geography. She is currently attending the Centre of Geographic Sciences, enrolled in the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences with a GIS focus. With youthful strength and energy, Mikaela embraces togetherness and teamwork.

Carol Davis: Carol loves GIS analysis, remote sensing studies, going to the beach and hiking, however there is never time for two of those things. As a recent B.Sc Environmental Geoscience graduate from Acadia University, Carol is continuing her educational journey at the Centre of Geographic Sciences through the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences program with a concentration in Remote Sensing.

Ben Mannell: There are no impossible problems, only impossible timelines. Ben is a Computer Science graduate from Brock University currently completing an Advance Diploma in Geographic Science with a focus in GIS at the Centre of Geographic Sciences. With a love for the outdoors, Ben is fascinated by balance and symmetry, and is always on the hunt for justice and equality.