Methodology: How the 2018 Best Neighbourhoods Were Determined

The details on where data was collected and how points were allocated.

Our Best Neighbourhoods survey was open from the beginning of January through to the end of February, 2018. The survey is designed to get respondents to tell us what characteristics are most important to them in a place to live. The survey presents lists of characteristics and asks respondents to rank them in terms of importance. Leger, a research and marketing company, takes those responses and does a max differential statistical analysis to determine just how important each amenity and characteristic is. They use that info combined with data we collected on 185 established residential communities to rank Calgary’s neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhoods: Neighbourhood names and boundaries follow those defined by the City of Calgary. Neighbourhoods were included by Avenue as long as they had sufficient data, including data collected from the Civic Census, Calgary Police Service and Open Calgary (the City of Calgary’s open data catalogue). Neighbourhoods that are too new to have all this data were excluded in 2018.

Parks and Pathways: For pathways, we scored neighbourhoods on proximity to regional (part of City-wide network), local (secondary route within communities) and trails (unpaved pathways recognized by the City). That data was collected from Open Calgary. For parks access we considered the size of parks, the number of smaller green spaces that the City does not provide size data on and the parks adjacent to communities. Data was collected from City of Calgary Parks. Based on our survey, the weighting of importance is 13.4.

Restaurants, Cafes and Bars: Using the City of Calgary’s business license data, found on Open Calgary, we gave points for every full service restaurant, cafe or bar within a neighbourhood. The waiting of importance for restaurants, cafes and bars is 12.6.

Crime: Data was taken from Calgary Police Service statistical reports. Crimes in each neighbourhood from January to December 2017 as reported by CPS were totaled and divided by the neighbourhood’s population to get the number of crimes per capita. Some of Calgary’s newest neighbourhoods were included in crime calculations available from the CPS although completed data sets on all amenities were not available. The weighting of importance for low crime is 12.5.

Walkability: Walk Score measures the walkability of a neighbourhood based on the percentage of daily errands that can be accomplished on foot in the area. Walk Score is a private company based in Seattle, Washington, and it provides a complete list of both Walk Scores and Transit Scores for Calgary neighbourhoods on its website. A score of 90 to 100 means daily errands don’t require a car and a score between 70 and 89 means most errands can be done on foot. The weighting of importance for walkability is 12.4.

Engagement score: We created a point system focusing on the idea that a neighbourhood where neighbours run into each other more often is more engaged. Points were calculated using percentage of households with a dog, percentage of bike and walking commuters and percentage of owner-occupied dwellings, all collected from the 2016 and 2017 Civic Census. We also added access to pathways number of playgrounds and libraries, all using data from Open Calgary. Data on community association membership levels and the activities of the community association were collected from the community association and was also used in our point system. The weighting of important for community engagement is 8.6.

Transit: Transit Score is a patented measure of how well a location is served by public transit on a scale from 0 to 100. The weighting of importance for access to transit is 6.5.

Recreation score: We included public leisure centres, art centres, aquatic and fitness centres, outdoor pools and rinks, athletic parks, multi-sport facilities, tennis courts and lakes. A point system was created so larger, more diverse facilities received more points. We evaluated neighbourhoods based on the facilities inside their borders and in adjacent neighbourhoods. Recreation facilities within neighbourhood borders received more points than recreation facilities adjacent to a neighbourhood. Data was collected from Open Calgary and the Federation of Calgary Communities. (Private lakes were considered recreational facilities for the home community but not for adjacent neighbourhoods.) The weighting of importance for recreation facilities is 5.2.

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