Calgary Firm Wins Esri Canada Award of Excellence for Advancing Geodesign

O2 Planning + Design Inc. Deftly Applies Spatial Analysis to Urban Planning for Better, Sustainable Designs

CALGARY, Esri Canada User Conference, May 23, 2012 – Geodesign is both the art and science of incorporating geography into design. O2 Planning + Design Inc. provides specialized expertise in this area and uses geographic information system (GIS) technology to combine ecology, culture and economics to create award-winning, sustainable urban designs. O2 is also sharing its expertise to help enhance Esri solutions for geodesign, which improve urban planning, modelling and design workflows. Esri Canada today presented O2 with an Award of Excellence in GIS for its outstanding work in advancing geodesign.

“Sustainable land-use plans reflect wise land stewardship,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “O2 is exceptional at combining creativity, environmental knowledge and spatial analysis to bring out and enhance the natural environment and provide a sustainable framework for development. Their intelligent, science-based designs are shaping better cities and urban landscapes for the future.”

O2 specializes in landscape planning and environmental design of campuses, parks, recreational areas, cities, regions, working landscapes and green infrastructure. Their team is composed of landscape architects, planners, urban designers, environmental scientists and civil engineers. They have been using Esri technology since 1999, along with remote sensing, GPS and 3D visualization technology, to integrate spatial analysis into digital design and urban planning. Remote sensing is used to gather detailed information about a site and its surroundings, while GIS organizes and models data to produce high-quality analysis and mapping.

O2 solutions integrate spatial analysis models into a single, modular, semi-automated workflow and provide built-in tools for 2D and 3D spatial planning and design. They leverage the full suite of Esri’s ArcGIS technology, including CityEngine, Esri’s 3D modelling solution for urban environments. The solutions enable better land-use planning, watershed analysis and management, and cumulative effects assessment. Their landscape visualization tools significantly reduce field survey costs and allow designs to be evaluated virtually prior to construction.

“We are truly grateful for this recognition by our peers,” says Douglas Olson, president, O2. “This award inspires us to continue on advancing GIS applications to develop well-informed multi-scale planning and design solutions that assist communities in achieving balanced growth.”

O2 has won numerous landscape architecture, urban design and planning excellence awards for its projects, which include the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, Calgary Metropolitan Plan, Calgary Land-Use Planning for Protecting Water Resources and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Green Open Space Master Plan.

View this video of an O2 presentation on new geodesign approaches to land-use planning and watershed management from the 2012 Esri Geodesign Summit in California. For more information on geodesign, visit


About O2 Planning + Design Inc.
O2 Planning + Design Inc. (O2) is an award-winning firm of landscape architects, planners, urban designers, environmental scientists, and civil engineers. Founded in 1991, the firm specializes in landscape planning and environmental design of rapidly changing and highly valued landscapes. The firm’s solution areas include: Campus Planning + Facility Design; Parks, Recreation + Tourism; Regional Landscape Planning; Urbanism; Working Landscapes; and Green Infrastructure. For more information, visit

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Telvent, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group. Information about Esri Canada can be found at

Editor (18230 Posts)

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.

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