Community Locus

Crowdsourcing the Pulse of Neighbourhoods

Metro Vancouver is consistently identified as one of the most livable destinations on Earth, but what does this mean in terms of the vitality of living here?  Similarly, the influential Walk Score™ (sample map below) graphs the physical attributes of a neighborhood without any sense of its actual pulse.  Community Locus is a project to begin crowdsourcing the lifestyle dynamics of Metro Vancouver communities in order to characterize how the diverse, active presence of people make them unique, and to enable those people to cultivate livability on their own terms.



KEYWORDS:  citizen engagement, community development, livability, neighbourhoods
AUDIENCE:   Residents and groups dedicated to the vibrancy and livability of their local communities.
PARTNER/HOST:   TBD (possibly Real Estate Foundation)
PARTICIPANTS:  Neighbourhood associations, chambers of commerce, local businesses, schools, residents.
PROJECT LEAD:  TBD (currently Rodger Lea, Urban Opus)
PROJECT STATUS:  Ready to be prototyped in Metro Vancouver

Urban Opus Rationale

Community Locus is about the trustworthy cultivation of citizen data, which carry the most essential intelligence of any city. Acting exclusively on behalf of citizens, Urban Opus aims to earn the trust necessary to realize individual, social and cultural benefits for them within their everyday lives and urban experience.


Community Locus is a project to map and cultivate livability in Metro Vancouver.   The power of applications like Walk Score™ are evident, but they are limited computed values sourced from maps and other static data sources. Community Locus allows citizens to contribute to dynamic livability metrics by passively communicating how their neighborhood actually works.

Community Locus users will install a simple app on their phone to anonymously chart daily local routines in order to establish generalized trends including the amount of walking, biking, driving that occurs in their neighborhood. These trends will be combined with other open and external data sources such as dog licenses, building permits, and social media analytics to generate nuanced intelligence about what it’s actually like to live there.

Community Locus data will be ‘owned’ by the local residents, enabling them to generate authentic narratives to influence planning decisions, as well offer welcoming information to visitors on such topics as where the locals walk, shop, etc.  It will also enable the locals to share news, events, etc, with each other.

Activation Path

An initial Social Locus app can be deployed within six (6) months:

  • Identification of Partner/Host organization
  • Clarification of region-specific requirements
  • Identification of development partner
  • Prototype implementation and testing
  • Theming and construction
  • Alpha-level app deployment


Walk Score

About Urban Opus

Urban Opus is Canada’s first ‘smart city’ industry cluster. The new consortium serves as trusted broker for innovative projects and organizations seeking to employ data to enhance the urban experience.  In great cities of the world, the consummate wellbeing of people and communities is being inspired by data.  Join us to make that happen!

Contact:  David Vogt, Executive Director, Urban Opus –