Sidewalk Priority Index
A Sidewalk Priority Index (SPI) was developed for the City of Thunder Bay. All 4,334 street segments in the City were given a score based upon 22 criteria. Where a street segment currently lacks sidewalks the SPI measures the need for new pedestrian infrastructure and where there are sidewalks the SPI indicates the priority for maintenance, including snow clearing.
The criteria include the road class (arterial, collector, busy local, quiet local) which is used as a proxy for pedestrian safety. It is considered that where there is more traffic, in more lanes, travelling at higher speeds it is more desirable to separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic. This priority increases where census data shows higher population density, populations with lower income and where higher rates of walking and public transit are reported for regular commuting. Housing types such as retirement homes, senior housing and housing designed to accommodate people with disabilites increased the SPI for surrounding street segments especially where these streets connected to various trip generators including: retail/commercial, institutional, schools, parks, community centers and other recreational facilities.
Maps & Images
Leadership in Environment and Energy Design standards for New Neighbourhoods (LEED-ND) were developed as a way to measure urban form and encourage design principles of increased density, mixed land use, walkability, accessibility to public transit and protection of ecological values within existing communities (U.S. Green Building Council 2010). A geographical information system (GIS) was used, in part, to compare the Lower College Heights neighbourhood in Thunder Bay, ON to LEED-ND standards.
GIS was used to measure the proportion of impervious surfaces in Lower College Heights, the slope based on a DEM, and how well the neighbourhood is served by nearby shopping and services. It was also possible to measure the number of street intersections, the distance to public transit stops, the distance of buildings to the street compared to building height, the number of jobs within walking distance and access to schools or green space.
U.S. Green Building Council. 2010. LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development Rating System. Washington, DC: USGBC. Retrieved October 1, 2010
Black Bay Archipelago
The data for 'Sensitive Coastal Features" and "Areas of Human Disturbance" collected in 2008 by Aaron Nicholson during a 50 day kayak trip with Jessica Johnson and Zack Kruzins (Lake Superior Research Group - LSRG). This was one year after the formal announcement of the establishment of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area along the north shore of Lake Superior. You can see from the map that the clustering of areas of Human Disturbance have a strong correlation with Sensitive Coastal Features.
Southern Ontario Universities
This was purely a cartographic exercise. The client needed to show the distribution of universities in Southern Ontario including regions/counties and larger groupings of these districts. It was necessary, for accessibility reasons, to refrain from adding a lot of colour. Blue was used for the water elements to add visual interest and because the colour in these areas does not interfere with the data being displayed.