what we did

RECOVER began with a focus on five neighbourhoods in Edmonton’s core. This included Boyle Street, Central McDougall, Downtown, McCauley and Queen Mary Park.

To have impact in these neighbourhoods, it was critical that we understand the current context and to get a pulse check on what’s happening. The information we collected started to give us a sense of the landscape and profiles of the issues and opportunities to improve urban wellness in these communities.


Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping

We had relatively easy access to traditional data from local and national sources – socio-economic measures, neighbourhood vulnerability indices, census data, crime rates, and so on. With the help of our RECOVER partners, we also had access to data related to social services and programming. Using an interactive mapping program, we mapped data geographically. We also layered different data sets to tell a more complete story.

Activity mapping

When it comes to the number and types of strategies, policies, programs and services connected to urban wellness, we know there is plenty of activity currently underway. Even for the most well connected, there is no way to know about all that’s going on. The intent of this work is to align the many initiatives being carried out.

Levers of Change

Levers can be described as points of leverage for making change and can be useful when undertaking complex social issues. Examples of levers can include legislation and standards, redefining how different partners work together, grants and contracts, and information sharing.

Community Conversations

Although we had a diverse group of people with us on the RECOVER journey, we still needed the broad spectrum of voices of people who live and participate in the five neighbourhoods.

Ethnographic Research

We worked with the design groups InWithForward and MaRS Solution Lab to undertake qualitative, on the ground research by talking to individuals and communities who are experiencing barriers and challenges to achieving wellness. We took a deep dive - exploring the needs, challenges and opportunities for urban wellness for all people in the five neighbourhoods. This primary ethnographic research (“thick data”) is rich in detail about people’s everyday lives, the needs they articulate and their future aspirations.

Indicator Dashboard

We developed a dashboard for RECOVER that can show us our progress towards urban wellness. Like the dashboard on a vehicle, it helps guide us.

The indicator dashboard is a tool to gauge the wellbeing of neighbourhoods, as well as track and measure how well we are achieving our goals. It is a solid starting point that will be constantly refined by public input and our learnings during our RECOVER journey.