Maps & Spatial Analysis
Air Quality and the Instance of Asthma in Alberta: Is there a spatial correlation?
Graduate School Project
It is well understood that there is a positive association between air pollution and emergency department visits for asthma in Alberta (Rowe pers. comm.). Within this context, we explored the correlation between air quality, as measured by ambient and point source parameters, and asthma related ED visit rates in Alberta. We tested the following four hypotheses:
H1: As the proximity to point sources increases, the instance of asthma increases.
H2: As ambient air quality decreases, the instance of asthma increases.
H3: Urban areas will have poorer ambient air quality than rural areas.
H4: Urban areas will have a higher rate of asthma than rural areas.
Our results indicate that:
• There is a potential relationship between the proximity to point source emissions and asthma,
• There is a potential relationship between average and maximum levels of ground level ozone and asthma, and maximum levels of sulphur dioxide and asthma, but not between the average levels of SO2 and asthma.
• There is not a significant difference in ambient air quality between large urban areas and rural areas; and,
• Rural areas have higher rates of asthma than urban areas.
Mill Creek Daylight
Prior to the 1970's, Edmonton's Mill Creek flowed unhindered in it's natural channel to the North Saskatchewan River. From the 1970's to present day Mill Creek has been diverted through a storm sewer to accommodate urban development. The City of Edmonton's proposed Valley Line LRT expansion offers an opportunity to reconsider Mill Creeks diversion and the potential to daylight Mill Creek.
This map displays Mill Creek's historic and current channel, as well as the proposed LRT line and the area where a daylighted Mill Creek could flow.
There is an emerging narrative that characterizes Twitter as a tool of public engagement that can augment more traditional means of consulting with the public (for instance, see here for Environment Canada's commitment to "...implementing more avenues to facilitate online connections with partners, stakeholders and interested members of the Canadian public") . While there is no doubt that there are many many people who use Twitter (it is reported that there are over 200 million active Twitter accounts) as a mean of conversing with their elected officials, it is important to remember that Twitter does not include all voices within our Canadian cities.