Did you know Calgary has 193 neighbourhoods? The Avenue team knows that, and plenty more besides. You pick up plenty of information when you spend a few months sourcing and sifting through city data.
For the fifth year, Avenue asked Calgarians what makes a neighbourhood great. The process is not a simple vote — that would be easy — but an in-depth analysis of raw city data combined with survey results to determine which neighbourhoods best meet the preferences, values and expectations of the majority of respondents. The survey invites Calgarians to consider a range of neighbourhood features, including amenities, park access, walkability, crime rates, commute times and even the friendliness of neighbours.
Avenue assistant editor Meredith Bailey says the Best Neighbourhoods issue, launched each August, is the most data-driven project Avenue does. Starting in mid-February, just as the survey winds down, the Avenue team begins collecting statistics. The team gathers information, including details like property values and new business licenses, from the Calgary Police Service, the City of Calgary and Walkscore.com. “More and more data is coming available to us. The City of Calgary has a great data library on its website that anyone can access.”
Once the stats are collected and the survey results are in, Avenue delivers both to Leger Marketing, which indexes, compiles and weights the data. If the majority of respondents ranks walkability as a priority, for example, Leger Marketing will give more weight to data related to walkability. Meredith says they never know what the results will show. “It’s suspenseful! We don’t know which neighbourhoods will stand out in which categories until we get the results.”
She says the survey responses and data suggest a larger trend in Calgary, indicating that the city is making a greater effort to create complete communities across the entire city, with access to parks, amenities, commuting routes and commercial centres. And because the survey is city-wide, Meredith says it can break down stereotypes people may have about what it’s like to live in the suburbs or in the inner-city. “One interesting thing about the 2014 results is that the top three neighbourhoods are a suburb, an inner-city neighbourhood and an established neighbourhood.”
So, what is the Avenue Calgary Best Neighbourhood for 2014? Find out