Ben Wedge - Advocate for a better Halifax

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If you have been following my adventures the past few years, you may remember my work with the Halifax Cycling Coalition, my master’s thesis, Global Shapers Halifax, 100 Kids Who Care Halifax, running, sailing, or one of my many other projects. As I wrap up my work with the Halifax Cycling Coalition and prepare to defend my master’s thesis, it’s time to find a new project.

The last few years have resulted in a fusion of many of my long-standing interests: bicycles, public transportation, and affordable housing. The impact of transportation on the cost of housing is very interesting to me. I truly believe that by making bicycles and public transportation convenient, affordable, and reliable we can help more people afford to live close to work.

Transportation doesn’t happen in isolation – our housing costs are driven not only by location and transportation, but by the energy required to run them. Halifax’s award-winning Solar City project is a great way to reduce the energy portion of our housing costs, but we need to do more. As a society, we need to give people, especially low-income residents, access to affordable capital funding for energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce their housing costs and reduce our climate change impact.

Housing, transportation, and energy are massive-scale problems. Over the next few years, I hope to focus my spare time on a number of small projects related to these. Some of my project ideas include:

  • Using data to improve home heating oil delivery
  • Creating an app using Halifax’s future bus location information feeds
  • Influencing city plans to ensure a healthy supply of affordable housing
  • Expanding on my master’s research to make our healthcare system more affordable
  • One big project to be unveiled that will tie many of these ideas together