Employment Lands Model User Tool- BC-554

Desired discipline(s): Engineering - computer / electrical, Engineering, Computer science, Mathematical Sciences, Statistics / Actuarial sciences, Business, Social Sciences & Humanities, Design, Economics, Interactive arts and technology, Urban studies
Company: District of Squamish
Project Length: 4 to 6 months
Preferred start date: 05/03/2021
Language requirement: English
Location(s): This is a remote position., BC, Canada
No. of positions: 1
Preferred institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Capilano University, Emily Carr University, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia

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About the company: 

The District of Squamish is located at the northern tip of Howe Sound, mid-way between the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. The community is situated within the traditional territory of the Squamish Nation and within the boundaries of Electoral Area D of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

One of the fastest growing communities in Canada, Squamish offers a breathtaking natural setting, convenient access, vibrant arts and culture scene, range of education opportunities, and a vibrant, entrepreneurial business community.

Please describe the project.: 

In 2020, District of Squamish staff created a new Employment Space Demand Model as a key tool to support economic development and land use planning. The goal of this project was to better understand existing and planned supply of employment space throughout the District, and to offer data-driven forecasting for the potential demand for space overtime. The model relies on District data from business licencing, development, and construction, and it also incorporates third-party consumption data, employment and firm forecasts.

The District is seeking a researcher who can help make the Employment Space Demand Model more widely accessible to other staff at the District, evolving the model from an Excel-based tool to a more user-friendly format. The project will involve conducting user-centered research, and undertaking the design and development of a new web-based tool that can make the model and its insights more accessible beyond the original authors. The goal is that staff will be able to manipulate the data as it relates to current projects, and perform scenario-based analysis that manipulates the data on demand.

The researcher must be someone who can work independently, who is experienced in user-centered design principles, and knowledgeable in both web development and data/analytics. The researcher will have access to the District’s Open Data portal, as well as support from District staff in economic development and IT.

Required expertise/skills: 

We'd like a combination of disciplines, if possible. Ideally, the researcher would have some expertise in computer science / computer programming and UI/UX design, in order to develop a user interface for staff as part of this project. In addition, it would be really beneficial if the researcher has any experience or knowledge, either as part of their research, work experience, or education background, in one of the following: urban studies, business, economics, or statistics/analytics. Knowledge in any of these fields will help the researcher to understand the model itself, and its application.