The Popsicle Test

While there are many ways to measure the safety and walkability of a neighbourhood the “popsicle test” beats the heat every time.  

If you haven’t heard of it, the “popsicle test” is a personal assessment of whether an 8-year-old child can walk a few blocks alone to the nearest place, buy a popsicle, and return home safely. Recorded at the neighbourhood or community scale, the test complement’s objective measures such as walking distance/time, amenity concentration, or walk scores by also reflecting the attitudes and perceptions that influence daily decisions.  

More importantly, the “popsicle test” is a fun way to engage your community in conversations about the important roles that planning and community connections play in creating thriving neighbourhoods and 15-minute communities.  

UBCM Complete Communities Program

Speaking of 15-minute communitieswe (WCS Engagement + Planning), Anura Consulting (Peter Whitelaw), and WATT Consulting Group have teamed up to help communities apply for, and if successful, use up to $150,000 in funding from the UBCM Complete Communities Program to support the development of a Complete Communities Implementation Plan. 

If your community is growing, looking to create multiple neighbourhood centres or develop better active transportation infrastructure, then we think this program is suited for you. The first funding application deadline is June 16 with another intake closing on January 12, 2024.   

The Complete Communities Program supports communities in undertaking assessments to inform land use decision-making, considering: 

  • Housing need, supply, and location; 
  • Transportation options including increased walkability;  
  • Daily needs such as grocery stores, parks, schools, etc.; and  
  • Connections to infrastructure investment and servicing decisions.   
How We Can Help

Our team will help you prepare the application form and complete the project if you are awarded funding. Our role, at minimum, would match the phases and key steps/deliverables as outlined in the program documents:  

  1. Prepare – review community context, data collection 
  2. Assess – spatial analysis, determine potential actions, develop scenarios 
  3. Act – develop implementation plan 

 If you want to take part in the first round of Complete Communities Funding before the opportunity melts away, please reach out to Dan: Dwilson [AT]