Sara El Khatib


Thesis title: Exploring the use of GIS in urban planning practice to inform livability and sustainability
Supervisory committee:
Dr Carmella Cucuzzella (Principal Supervisor, Dr. Govind Gopakumar, Dr. Youjung Kim                                                                                            Started: 2021

Sara El Khatib is a PhD student enrolled at the Individualized program at Concordia University. Her research focuses on Urban Livability and Sustainability. Sara completed her Masters in Urban Planning and Policy in 2020 at the American University of Beirut with her thesis titled “Creating a Pandemic-Sensitive Livability Index at the Neighborhood Scale: The Case Of Montreal.’’ She is also an alumnus of the American University of Sharjah with a BE in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Sara’s research is on understanding the complex facets of urban livability and how they come together in the urban scale to better understand the direct elements of what makes our cities livable. Her research methodology will include a thorough literary study of mainstream livability indices in academia and the media. And extend to primary qualitative and quantitative research done in the city of Montreal. Furthermore, her research also focuses on aligning urban livability with sustainability through tackling the sustainable development goals, outlined by the United Nations. Specifically, translating the SDG’s from the national scale to the urban scale in order to effectively monitor progress, create implementable solutions and inform policy in cities. The intended outcome of her thesis is to produce an academic livability index, based on both quantitative and qualitative indicators relating to sustainability, urban form, walkability, green space, the economy and social capital. This index tool will be in GIS-based technology that can visualize complex data on the urban scale in an interactive and compelling format. This tool is intended to be used by academics and professionals and shared seamlessly with the public to share important issues on cities. Her driving question is: Using modern tools, technology, and data, how can planning for urban livability and sustainability become more intuitive and effective at creating cities where people would want to live, work and play in for generations to come.

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