This edition establishes baseline scores for each city. The baseline is similar to measuring a shoe size. We will use it in future scores to measure the footprint pressure each city exerts on the biosphere. From this point on city scores should increase depending on what changed in the city or what new or refined data points are added. This means there is no limit to how high scores can climb, just as there are no limits to how sustainable our cities can become.
To see Baseline Edition results click read more
Large Size Cities
145 Québec City
Mid Size Cities
114 Richmond Hill
105 Greater Sudbury
Small Size Cities
135 St. John's
108 Saint John
86 Thunder Bay
74 St. Catharines
- Most indicators are statistically normalized. This is done to produces values between zero and one which are ideal for indicator data points. All maximum and minimums are derived from data inside each cities "City Size Category". Scoring comparisons are done between cities of the same sizes.
- Missing city data was replaced with provincial default data or the minimum value from the city category depending on which one is lower in order to maintain true floor score minimums.
- No indicator weighting was used. This was done to establish clear baselines. In the next edition indicator weighting will be applied to reflect the impact on nature each indicator has.
- Ranking score ties. Ties are given the same rank. Ranks are your placement in the score list. The rank after ties is the same regardless of whether ties occurred or not. We do not want to add tie braking indicators because they skew score results.
City Size Categories: Our research shows that smaller cities have smaller eco-footprints. It is an inescapable fact! Larger cities have features like mass transit systems that are not viable in smaller cities so classifying cities by size makes sense and is fair to all cities
Population Impact: Smaller populations have smaller footprints. They demand less space for residential, commercial, industrial, recreation and other uses; all of which make footprints smaller.
Municipal Area: Measured in square km. Larger municipal boundaries create larger city footprints. Annexation and amalgamation are how cities grow in size and this is always done for economic reasons. There are a few exceptions to this footprint rule and Halifax is one. It has extensive wilderness reserves within its boundaries and that skews both Municipal Area and Population Density indicators. For this reason we gave Halifax a ceiling score of 1 for both indicators.
Population Density: Higher population densities mean less space is used for more human activity. It is a measurement of footprint efficiency thus making higher densities score higher. It is also an indicator of urban sprawl which has become the largest cause of habitat loss inside our cities.
Travel To Work By: Measurement of a populations uptake of public transit, cycling and walking as a form of commuting. It is a percentile measurement where higher percentiles score are better. For the baseline edition used an equal footprint weighting factors for each form of travel.
- Personal Automobile factor is ZERO (excluded currently)
- Public Transit weighting factor is 1 (Buses, Trains, Infrastructure Footprints)
- Cycling weighting factor is 1 (Bike Paths, Parking, Manufacturing Infrastructure Footprints)
- Walking weighting factor is 1 (No infrastructure required)
Driving Distance: This indicator scores the median driving distance in kilometers for automobile commuters travelling. Lower numbers score better.
Workforce Commuting Outside City: Measures the percentage of the workforce travelling outside the city for employment. This causes heavy traffic and poor air quality. Lower percentages score higher.
Culture & Economic Activity: Measures proximity to Libraries and Museums; Measures GDP and GDP Growth. This is only used to help establish an activity baseline then removed.
Air Advisory Days: This is a count of the number of air advisories in a given year.
Temperature Extremes: Hot and cold weather extremes place peak demands on the city utilities for heating and air conditioning. Summer maximum temperature averages and the absolute value of winter minimum averages are used in this calculation.
Renewable Electrical Capacity: This is a pure percentage calculation. For the baseline we are using the provincial capacity statistics. In the equinox release will try to refine this to each cities usage.
GHG Emissions: Baseline edition uses provincial total. Future releases will us if known city Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, otherwise we use the provincial per capita.
Garbage Tonnage: All cities are floor scored! Lower is better.
Recycling Tonnage: All cities are floor scored! Higher is better.
Domestic Water Usage: Lower is better.
Housing Demographics: This indicator scores residential housing footprints. Until cities start publishing their real housing statistics we are stuck using a Municipal Census data proxy. The footprint of a high rise apartment building is much lower per person than a single detached house. We use a weighting factor to approximate the footprints.
- Single Detached Percentile with footprint weighting factor 10
- Apartments 5 Story+ Percentile with footprint weighting factor 1
- All Other Structures Percentile with footprint weighting factor 4
Green Initiatives On Website: We do not score content, just clarity of basic ecological initiatives. We maintain links to every municipal website. Simply click on the city name in the score table to see what other cities are doing.
Travel to Work by
Workforce Commuting Outside City
Culture & Economic Activity
Air Advisory Days
Domestic Water Usage
Renewable Electrical Capacity
Green Initiatives On Website
Determines normalization maximums and minimums
Score = 1 - Normalized Population
Score = 1 - Normalized Area
Score = Normalized Density
Score = Sum of Normalized(Percentages x Weighting Factor)
Score = 1 - Normalized Median Driving Distance
Score = Normalized(Population x (100 - Percentage) )
Score = Sum of Normalized(Library,Museum,GDP,GDP Growth, etc..)
Score = 1 - Normalized Advisory Days
Score = 1 - Normalized (Summer Max Average + | Winter Min Average | )
Score = 1 - Normalized Garbage Tonnage
Score = Normalized Percentage of Garbage Recycled
Score = 1 - Normalized Water Usage
Score = Renewable Capacity / Total Capacity
Score = 1 - Normalized City GHG
Score = 1 - Normalized sum of (Structure Percentile x Weighting)
Clear landing page score = 1, Otherwise score = 0