While finding the right neighbourhood to live in is never an easy task, Edmontonians now have a new tool at their disposal to help find just the right place.
Self-described data nerd Trevor Prentice first started collecting data about Edmonton's neighbourhoods a couple of years ago when he and his family were looking to buy a house.
His research quickly grew into an extensive Excel file that ranked 387 neighbourhoods based on nine factors including location, transit, crime, proximity to schools, grocery stores, libraries and the river valley.
"I just started looking at a few of the neighbourhoods we were already thinking about, then I found some nice data from the city of Edmonton and some other sources and realized I could make a nice spreadsheet that automatically ranked all of the neighbourhoods in Edmonton," Prentice said.
Then, during a hackathon held by the city, Prentice took all that data and turned it into 'Hood Rank — an interactive tool that allows users to set their own neighbourhood priorities by dragging a series of sliders left or right.
The result? A personalized map showing colour-coded recommendations for neighbourhoods to look into.
For Prentice, a father of two young children, being close to schools, pools, libraries and spray parks was a high priority — so Malmo Plains, located just west of Southgate Mall won out in the end.
In a twist of not-quite-fate, Malmo also happens to be where Prentice himself grew up.
"To be honest, that is one of the main reasons I wanted to do a spreadsheet — so that I had sort of an objective measure and could make sure I wasn't just biased and tricking myself into thinking Malmo is the best [for us]," he said.
Now settled into his own dream neighbourhood, Prentice is continuing work on 'Hood Rank, and is thinking of adding even more variables — like quietness, proximity to major intersections or restaurants — to help users hone in on the right 'hood for them.
"There's just so much potential here … and a lot of work to be done on it," he said.
On Edmonton AM, we asked listeners to tell us about their own favourite neighbourhoods. Did we miss any? Add them into the comments below or tweet them to @EdmAMCBC.