The Neighbourhoods of Medicine Hat
May - August 2014
Programs used: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, ArcGIS, Microsoft Excel
While working in the City of Medicine Hat's Planning and Building Department, I found that I was completing my day-to-day tasks with time still left in the day. I was learning in school that demographic information can be an important tool for planners and can help city staff make more informed decisions. I realized that the department lacked some of this basic information, so I took it upon myself to collect and graphically represent it. Using census tract data from the 2011 Census and National Household Survey, I created spreadsheets, summary reports, and maps for city staff to use and reference. I also calculated the city's projected population by age cohorts over the next 30 years in 5-year increments. Through these self-initiated projects, I quickly learned various design softwares such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, in addition to mapping and analytic tools such as ArcGIS.
The poster I designed to summarize the city's neighbourhood demographic data (shown below) has since been used by City staff at regional trade shows, in committee meetings, and internal meetings to inform things like transit planning decisions.
Moving back to the city I have spent most of my life in inspired me to also embark on a journey to photograph and interact with the city in a new way. In my spare time, I found myself cycling, walking, and driving around the city and seeing it in a new light. While exploring, I was reminded of Toronto and the pride people have of their individual neighbourhoods. Medicine Hat also has unique neighbourhoods and I wanted to encourage friends and family to "own" their neighbourhood and local community. Without fully knowing where it would take me, I had the idea to design a neighbourhood guide, specifically for Medicine Hat. This project was a great learning opportunity for me in terms of using new software tools and exploring my interest in urban/architectural photography.