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App: SustainABLE Halifax

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Mission statement

How sustainable is my neighbourhood? My community? What can I do to help? These are some of the questions we wanted to answer with our app. In line with the UN’s Sustainable Cities and Communities goal[1] of the Sustainable Development Goals, we developed an app which not only shows a ranking of sustainability, but provides information on how you can get involved. The UN’s set of 17 goals[2] outlines priorities for addressing some of the global challenges we face, enabling the world to develop and grow in a sustainable manner. Only by raising awareness and working together, can we help overcome these challenges.

Halifax, Nova Scotia is a city with a long history of expansion and growth, making it a good choice to assess the current sustainability of a city which may not have grown in the most sustainable fashion. The availability of open source data for the city and province makes such an assessment possible.

We combined various datasets representing economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability to create an overall sustainability index for a section of the city. Further views allow you to explore the various factors contributing to the sustainability of each area. This is presented along with locations such as community centres, libraries and community gardens - in short, places where you can learn more about sustainability or help make your community more sustainable.


[1]Sustainable Cities and Communities

[2]UN Sustainable Development Goals

Video Presentation


Team Members

Robert Anderson: (left) I am from Hamilton, Ontario where I attended McMaster University, obtaining my BSc in Environmental Sciences with a Minor in GIS. After having the incredible opportunity to travel across Canada on the train, I returned to school to attend the Centre of Geographic Sciences for the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences. I want to apply my GIS knowledge to improve the lives of people, particularly in the fields of transit and urban planning.

Anna Sobotka: (middle-left) I’m from Kelowna, and I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences. I worked in the forestry industry, then travelled throughout Europe before coming to the opposite side of Canada to see what the other side has to offer. I came to COGS because I’ve always been interested in maps, and I want to learn more about GIS applications in environmental monitoring.

Ellen Uppington: (middle-right) I’m from Newmarket, Ontario, and I attended the University of Toronto, where I completed a BSc in Computer Science. During my Bachelor’s, I also studied GIS applications and forest conservation, and worked with Environment Canada on improving the processing of their weather radar. I came to COGS to learn more about spatial data and analysis and to explore different avenues of technology in the field of GIS, and because I like maps!

Nicole Peters: (right) I’m from Prince Edward Island and did my BSc in Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University, which is where I got my first taste of GIS. From there I moved to Germany, where I lived for 7 years, also completing my MSc in Marine Geosciences at the University of Bremen. I returned to Canada and have now come to COGS to deepen my understanding of GIS and learn about new applications, particularly in the marine and coastal realms. I am excited to see where GIS, and 3D GIS, can take us!