A data visualization tool enabling municipalities to better evaluate infrastructure projects, mitigate climate risks and invest effectively.
Around the world, resiliency planning is finding its way to the top of municipalities’ agendas. The need to prepare for climate-related hazards — from droughts to fires, heat waves to rising global temperatures — has never been more urgent.
That’s why Evergreen has developed AI for the Resilient City. The data visualization and analytics tool, supported by RBC, aims to help municipalities across Canada plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change, giving power to cities and regions through data and technology. The tool focuses on the impacts of Urban Heat Islands (UHI) and extreme heat in Canadian cities and provides the resources to make informed decisions and support policy changes at the community level.
The tool helps to identify the most affected UHI hotspots in an area, provides insights into environmental factors that could increase or decrease vulnerability within communities, advances climate change interventions such as vegetation, and provides real-time insights at neighbourhood scale.
The tool is designed to help municipalities across Canada plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change, providing the resources to make informed decisions and support planning and infrastructure policy changes.
The tool will now show users how natural and built environments are expected to change in the near term. Learn how changes to an area will impact local urban heat islands and more.
Evergreen signs an agreement with Gramener Inc. and Microsoft to create an ambitious new climate impact application.
Evergreen onboards the City of Calgary to make a custom tool for the city using a combination of open-sourced and proprietary city data to explore urban heat islands and extreme heat throughout the entire city.
In mid-2021, Evergreen completed the final version of the City of Calgary application as a part of the AI for the Resilient City program and onboarded, with renewed funding, the Region of Peel and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to create a similar scaled application using only open-sourced data.
The Region of Peel / Toronto and Region Conservation Authority: AI for the Resilient City Program Application was created for the entirety of the region and is used for climate action, planning developments and strategic policy decisions. Evergreen applied for renewed funding to continue scaling out the program to communities across Canada and hosted numerous workshops and showcases for existing (and potential new) partners.
Evergreen and Gramener Inc. completed the highly anticipated Scenario Mode, which allows people to create custom UHI and extreme heat scenarios based on application data with a complex machine learning algorithm to understand how changes to built and natural environment will affect extreme heat at the census and neighbourhood level.
The AI for the Resilient City program receives continued funding from RBC: Tech for Nature to continue developing the scenario mode application, new datasets and variables, as well as scale the program application to two new communities across Canada by 2025.
AI for the Resilient City will be working with partners to identify and scale to two new communities.
The tool, built on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing service and used with Gramener Inc.’s Gramex system, has been designed to scale geographically and technically across Canada. Municipalities will be able to leverage the solution’s technology to address a host of heat-related climate and infrastructure impacts. It will help visualize pressing questions: What did the city look like five years ago? What could it look like in five years if the status quo is maintained? What impact would various climate interventions have? How can data and decisions today change how we view our community tomorrow?
The tool’s many features allow for in-depth prediction and planning.
The Region of Peel owns and manages infrastructure valued at over $32 billion to deliver critical services to our 1.5 million residents and over 88,000 businesses in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. Evergreen’s urban heat data visualization tool will help staff at the region better understand areas with greater exposure to extreme heat, enabling us to make more informed decisions regarding making our infrastructure assets more resilient to extreme weather events and future climate conditions. As the temperatures increase and neighbourhoods continue to warm, the risk of more frequent or extended extreme heat events rise. The urban heat data visualization tool can inform the region’s response plan, which aims to minimize the risk of heat-related illness, especially among vulnerable residents.
Our ultimate goal is to empower all Canadian urban and suburban communities by placing this tool at their fingertips, enabling them to make more informed decisions and effective policies regarding issues like the urban heat island effect.
Do you want to be our next city? Find out how your city can join the next phase to help with heat adaptation and mitigation strategies. For more information and a demonstration of the tool, contact Joshua Welch at AIresilientcity@evergreen.ca.
You can learn more about the project in the video below.
AI for the Resilient City was made possible by an initial investment from Microsoft’s AI for Earth program. The tool has been created in partnership with data science and AI company Gramener. It will be available to partner municipalities across Canada to plan for, adapt to, and mitigate the impact of climate change in their communities. AI for the Resilient City is funded in part by the RBC Foundation through RBC Tech for Nature to help scale this program.