Friday, September 30, 2016 - 15:25
Peg is happy to congratulate Dr. László Pintér, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and Senior Fellow and Associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development on his recent award for the Hall of Heroes at the Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) conference in Washington, D.C. on September 26-27, 2016. This award recognizes individuals who, through their work have developed tools or methods to translate data into community action, making long-term and significant impact on the field and in community well-being.
Dr. Pintér has been engaged in the Community Indicators field for over 20 years. He has been involved in many national and international collaborations over the years, working to build the field and he played a key role in crafting sustainability assessment and measurement principles by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He was also instrumental in starting the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network, a nation-wide network that brings together practitioners in private and public fields who work with measuring sustainability in its many forms. He is a valued board member of many high-level board and steering committees such as the Asia-Europe Foundation’s Environment Forum, the Balaton Group and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe. 
Most important, he was also foundational to the development of Peg. Over the years László has dedicated his time, expertise and passion to seeing Peg grow from an idea to an instrument for inspiring action around well-being and community in Winnipeg. We recently took the time to ask László about some of his experiences working with Peg and how it has influenced his work in other areas. 
What has working on Peg’s development meant to you?
"Peg was an exceptional opportunity to prove that the potential of indicators to change lives is real, not just a slogan. This is what IISD advocated globally, but when we were called upon to do this at home, it raised the stakes even further. By 2000 we were no longer a novice in the indicator field and through Peg we could also use Winnipeg as a ‘learning laboratory’ to test innovative ideas that we thought made sense. Engaging the community intensively in Peg’s development with great patience and care; investing in innovative use of technology and visualization; matching numbers with stories of everyday Winnipeggers; negotiating partnership agreements; dealing with the intricacies of Peg’s governance; and most of all, perhaps, designing it as a lasting piece of community infrastructure; these all contributed to its success and growing visibility.”
How has Peg impacted your work over the years? Have you incorporated Peg experiences into other projects/concepts or theories on which you have worked? 
"For me and for many others in our field who know it, I think Peg became a standard and a point of reference. Whether discussing the transformative power of the way we measure progress at the global level, in some other country or community, I can refer back to Peg and ask “how did we deal with this question?”, or “how could we deal with it in the future?” I haven’t recorded, and probably now can’t count, the number of times I found a way to weave one or more aspects of Peg into my conference talks, graduate students’ thesis projects or ideas put forward by our partners. But there is a clear line of influence between Peg and the Mareas de Tasajera indicator system (of one of my former graduate students in El Salvador): the tool that is used to navigate UNEP Live’s global environmental data, or the way we will build the indicator system in a major new project funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, Naturvation, to envision how nature based solutions can inform and change the way we build and run our cities."
What can Peg teach other communities both in Canada and abroad?
"I consider Peg an indicator system that is well grounded in the community, with a clear identity and a growing recognition. However, it is also a system that should be and is capable of learning and evolving as new issues, new technologies, and new insights emerge. The indicator system in Peg would be a great foundation for conversations not only about how we got here, but what we want for the future in terms of goals, targets and outcomes. Having these goals and visions about health, education, livelihoods, the urban environment, infrastructure, public finance and so on can jolt people into action, especially if there is a promise that Peg will have the numbers and stories about what actually gets done. So what Peg can teach is not just what it is – but what it can be."
Community indicator systems clearly have the potential to transform numbers into action. From its work with collective impact and the End Homelessness project to its continual efforts to keep the conversation going through videos and media, Peg has been an essential resource in starting dialogues and building community in Winnipeg. László recently spoke about Peg at the TedX Winnipeg event in August 2016, discussing how Peg can move the needle toward the vision we all have for a better Winnipeg. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 16:05
Nuit Blanche Winnipeg is a free, all-night exploration of contemporary art that takes place Saturday, October 1st, 2016. To celebrate, we took a look at new data from Peg, Winnipeg's community indicator system, on Participation in the Arts. What did the data tell us?  

Peg tells us…

  • Between 2007 and 2015, the number of participants in arts & cultural events in Winnipeg increased by 61% - an increase of 1,141,000 people! 
  • In 2015, there were just under 3 million visits to arts & cultural events in the city.

Why does this matter?

  • The arts are a critical element of any community's social vitality. The arts help define our identity, they attract tourists and residents, and give life to the community. 
  • The arts contribute significantly to the economy. Canadian exports of cultural products were valued at almost $1.3 billion in 2010 (Statistics Canada 2012).


Source of the data:

  • Peg’s data for the Participation in Arts indicator is provided by the Winnipeg Arts Council.  

Media inquiries:

For interviews on Peg, the data, or to be connected with organizations making a difference in the community, please contact:

Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
(204) 958-7700 ex 740 |

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 15:24
Summer is a popular time of year for buying and selling homes. We took a look at Peg to see how Winnipeg’s average house price has changed over the past decade.  

Peg tells us:

  • The average price of a house in Winnipeg increased from $137,062 to $278,220 between 2005 and 2015 - an increase of 103%.In 2015, Winnipeg’s average house price was $278,220, compared to an average price across Canada of $442,877.

The facts are:

  • In 2015, Winnipeg’s average house price was $278,220, compared to an average price across Canada of $442,877.
  • Winnipeg’s average house price has increased faster than Canada’s overall over the past ten years; 103% in Winnipeg vs. a 78% increase Canada-wide.  

Why does this matter?

  • Housing is usually the largest component of a household’s wealth. When housing prices go up, homeowners’ net worth increases, and they tend to be more willing to spend more and take on additional debt. This has a significant positive impact on the economy.
  • Conversely, when housing prices decrease, households find it more difficult to borrow (as their equity has decreased), and rather than spending, they tend to try to pay off their mortgages faster.
  • Housing prices also impact Winnipeggers' willingness and ability purchase a home, or to live in certain areas of the city.


  • Average house price measures average residential detached housing prices listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system - this means that private sales may not be included. Rates are seasonally adjusted.
  • More detail and source data for the above facts available at

Source of the data:

  • Peg’s data for the Average House Price indicator is provided by Economic Development Winnipeg. 

Media inquiries:

  • For interviews on Peg, the data, or to be connected with organizations making a difference in the community, please contact Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), (204) 958-7700 ext. 740 |


Friday, August 5, 2016 - 14:26
In May, Peg was highlighted at TEDxWinnipeg. Dr. Laszlo Pinter talks about how a community uses data to make safer, inclusive and forward moving decisions. 
Dr. Pinter is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University in Budapest and a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
You can watch the complete Ted talk here:

Monday, June 27, 2016 - 19:19

June is Stroke Awareness Month. We took a look at data from Peg to explore how income is related to likelihood of stroke in Winnipeg.

Peg tells us…
  • People living in Point Douglas have the highest rate of stroke of all community areas in Winnipeg at 4.14; double the rate compared to people living in Fort Garry.

The facts are:
  • Lower income Winnipeggers are significantly more likely to have a stroke than those in the highest income quintile. The lowest income 20% were 64 per cent more likely to have a stroke than the 20% with the highest income.

  • The rate of hospitalization or death due to a stroke in WInnipeg was 2.6 per thousand residents aged 40 and over in 2007-2011. (The rate has decreased slightly since 2002-2006, when it was 2.7 per thousand.)

Why does this matter?
  • Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are the leading causes of death globally, and represent a third of all deaths in Winnipeg in any given year. These diseases are also a leading cause of hospitalization and adult disability. Heart attacks and strokes are associated with social and economic disadvantage. Opportunities for employment, income, education, and housing have enormous potential to reduce the unequal burden of heart disease and stroke.

  • The stroke indicator measures the number of hospitalizations or deaths due to stroke per 1,000 residents aged 40 and older. Rates are sex- and age- adjusted.

  • It should be noted that patients who were attended by nurses, misdiagnosed, or did not seek treatment are not recorded in official statistics in the database.

  • *More detail and source data for the above facts available at

Source of the data:

We’d love to connect you with someone who can tell you more about Peg, the data, or who is making a difference in the community. Please contact: Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) | (204) 958-7740 |

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 20:55
Two events are celebrating active transportation in Winnipeg this June - the Commuter Challenge takes place June 5-11 as part of Canadian Environment Week, and Bike Week Winnipeg takes place June 18-24. 
What does Peg tell us about active transportation trends in Winnipeg compared to the rest of Canada?
Peg tells us…
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the percentage of Winnipeggers walking or biking to work as their primary mode of transportation has decreased slightly, from 7.9% in 2001 to 7.6% in 2011. The national rate is 7.0%.
The facts are:
  • 21.4% of downtown residents walk or bike to work as their primary mode of transportation, compared to 7.6% of Winnipeggers overall. 
  • Across Canada, the rates for similarly sized cities include 9.8% in Ottawa, 6.0% in Edmonton, and 7.5% in Saskatoon. 
Why does this matter?
  • Active transportation is being increasingly embraced by cities as a transportation mode that provides multiple benefits, including improved citizen health, decreased road damage, better air quality, decreased costs to commuters, increased social interactions and even higher property values (City of Winnipeg, 2011). 
  • The active transportation indicator shows the percentage of people who walk or bicycle as their primary mode of transportation to work. 
  • This indicator does not take into account individual variation in the mode of transportation taken to work. For example, someone who drives a car to work 60 per cent of the time and bicycles 40 per cent of the time would only be recorded as using a car. 
  • This indicator does not count outings not related to work, and does not take into account differences in distance.
  • *More detail and source data for the above facts available at
Source of the data:
We’d love to connect you with someone who can tell you more about Peg, the data, or who is making a difference in the community. Please contact: Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) | (204) 958-7740 |

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 22:19

By Charles Thrift, May 09, 2016

As originally posted on the IISD website, at

A lot has been written about the 2016 census.

I've seen articles about the importance of the census data for all manner of things; the Twitterverse has exploded with selfies taken with census forms; and my Facebook feed is full of people proclaiming their support of evidence-based decision-making. In fact, Statistics Canada's census webpage crashed due to higher-than-expected traffic (it seems many Canadians were keen to fill in their forms right away. Don’t worry—I got mine in before it crashed…!). For those interested in learning more about this year's census, Statistics Canada's blog post about the 2016 census is quite good and discusses some of the changes from previous years (e.g., use of administrative data for income).

Here at IISD’s Knowledge program, we share the same census excitement described above, but for us it takes on a special significance, given our interest in the accessibility and interpretability of that data for decision making. There are some exciting things coming with this census that should (hopefully) lead to broader use by Canadians.

Our work has taught us that many in the community are very interested in using data, but don't necessarily know how to find and interpret it. It is partly for this reason that we partnered with the United Way of Winnipeg to develop our Peg project. Without good data, how can we know if our community is going in the right direction?

To improve the accessibility of this vital data regarding Winnipeg's social and environmental health, we use appealing ways of visualizing data, simple messaging and an interactive website where people can look at the data for different geographies and thematic focuses. We also maintain a smaller dataset to focus on those issues that matter most to Winnipeggers. Peg makes good use of census data to track educational attainment, people's transportation choices, the condition of housing and how many people are living on a low income. We also use census income data to see how issues in the community affect, or are affected by, income. In one way or another, the census informs most of our indicators.

Canadians' enthusiasm for completing the 2016 census has us hoping that they will share the same interest in using the results. With such a high percentage of the population completing the questionnaire, the results will be highly accurate. So, will Statistics Canada move forward in trying to make this valuable data as usable as possible, as we have focussed on doing in the Peg project, to all Canadians?

Statistics Canada has a very different mandate from Peg, but they share the objective of improving decision making via improved data/evidence. Statistics Canada "encourages the downloading and reuse of its data," but much of the data you'll find on the Statistics Canada website are in tables and reports. This is great for those of us nerds who are keen to work with the raw data, but a little less appealing to many. The website is often difficult to navigate, and it can be hard to find what you're looking for. Even so, there are a couple of interesting changes that have caught our eye: their new infographics and the Census Program Data Viewer. Both make use of data visualization to help us see patterns easily.

Infographics are helpful for quickly communicating key messages. Statistics Canada has been producing these for a couple of years now, but it will be nice to see them for the census data.

Statistics Canada is also building a new Census Program Data Viewer, which should make accessing and understanding the trends much easier. It has yet to be developed, but it should take the form of an interactive dashboard, with the ability to map, show bar charts and compare parts of the country. It sounds like it might be similar to what the U.S. Census Bureau uses or what is produced byInstantAtlas.

Statistics Canada is definitely moving in the right direction. As we strive to complete our census forms, let's not lose our enthusiasm after we click 'submit.' It's equally important for us to look at the results, in a format that we can all understand, as it is only through access to data that we can clearly see how well our country is doing, and what decision-makers need to do to improve life for us all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 13:36

April 10-16, 2016 is National Volunteer Week. What can Peg tell us about how many Winnipeggers volunteer their time?  Peg tells us... 

  • From the newly available 2013 Statistics Canada data - 38% of Winnipeg residents reported volunteering their time, skills, and commitment to a wide range of organizations within our community.

The facts are: 

  • Though volunteerism in Winnipeg declined from 46% in 2008 to 35% in 2010, it has since climbed back up to 38%.
  • Winnipeg’s 38% was below the 2013 national rate of 44%.1


  • Volunteerism measures the percentage of Winnipeggers who reported volunteering their time within the last year.
  • This includes all persons aged 15 and over who indicated doing any activities without pay on behalf of a group or organization at least once in the 12 months preceding the survey. 

 Why is this important?

  • Volunteerism makes a significant difference in Winnipeg, providing time and expertise to allow the operation of services and programs that could not otherwise be delivered. Contributions include fundraising, organizing events, sitting on a board, teaching or mentoring, and a wide range of activities that contribute to our society.
  • Volunteerism is strongly related to the social vitality of our community, and supporting the basic needs of our vulnerable populations: most volunteer hours contribute to organizations related to sports and recreation, social services, education and research, religion, development and housing, and health.

Source of the data: 

  • Peg's data for the Volunteerism indicator is provided by Statistics Canada. The 2013 data is the most up-to-date available. 

Peg stories:

Media inquiries:

  • We’d love to connect you with someone who can tell you more about Peg, the data, or who is making a difference in the community. Please contact: Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) | (204) 958-7740 |

1 Turcotte, M. Statistics Canada: Volunteering and charitable giving in Canada.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 16:48

On April 19th, Winnipeggers head to the polls for the third time in two years. What can Peg tell us about trends in Voter Turnout in our Municipal, Federal, and Provincial elections?   Municipal Voter Turnout 

  • Voter turnout has increased significantly over the past two elections. Turnout was 38.2% in 2006, 47.1% in 2010, and 50.2% in 2014. The highest turnout in the past twenty years was in 1992, at 58.4%.

Provincial Voter Turnout

  • Provincial voter turnout dropped from a high of 71.6% in 1999 to 59.3% in 2011, however, turnout has increased over the last two elections.*This data represents voter turnout in Winnipeg ridings only

 Federal Voter Turnout

 Why is this important?

  • Elections are the most fundamental processes of democratic engagement, and high turnouts are generally considered to be positive - voter turnouts are an indicator of the overall health of the democratic system.
  • Voter turnout varies across the population, with some groups better represented at the polls than others. Age, education, and income are three major factors that influence voter turnout. 
  • Peg data reflects only registered voters, not those eligible to vote.

 Source of the Data: 

 Peg Stories:

Media inquiries:

  • We’d love to connect you with someone who can tell you more about Peg, the data, or who is making a difference in the community. Please contact: Sumeep Bath, Media and Communications Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) | (204) 958-7740 |

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 19:34

Spring is here, and with it comes the beginning of construction season. We took a look at two indicators in Peg’s Built Environment theme to get a sense of how Winnipeg’s construction industry is doing: Housing Starts and Building Permit Values. Peg tells us… Housing Starts:

  • Over a 15-year period, housing starts in Winnipeg have increased over 300% - from 970 in 2000 to 3999 in 2015.  
  • Housing starts show the number of new residential units per 10,000 residents, and is used to track changes in the health of the economy. It is a leading indicator, as changes in housing starts occur before general trends in the overall economy can be seen.
  • More facts available at:

 Building Permits Value:

  • In the last 15 years, Winnipeg’s building permits value has increased 202%, however values dropped 19% from 2013 to 2015.   
  • Building Permits Value measures the total value of residential construction projects. This indicator is widely used as a leading indicator for the construction industry since the issuance of a building permit is one of the first steps in the construction process. 
  • More facts available at:

Source of the Data: 

  • Peg’s data for the Housing Starts indicator provided by the City of Winnipeg. Data for Building Permits Value provided by Statistics Canada.
  • Peg creates short videos to illustrate data in a different way. For a short Peg story on green building strategies, visit

 Media inquiries:

  • We’d love to connect you with someone who can tell you more about Peg, the data, or who is making a difference in the community. Please contact: Erica Glasier, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, United Way WInnipeg | (204) 924-6402 |


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