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Capstone: Variables Associated With Environmental Sustainability – A United Nations Millennium Development Goal

For those following my blog since the start of my Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera, this is the final course and the Capstone project. Unlike previous courses, I will move away from urbanization data and try to tackle one of the problems provided by the course’s industry partner.

Below is our first assignment – the introduction to my final report.

Variables Associated with Environmental Sustainability

Using data provided by the World Bank, through DrivenData, this study looks to identify factors associated with the Environmental Sustainability Indicator defined as an United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Preliminary explanatory variables are Gross National Income, Forest Area, CO2 Emissions, Employment, Foreign Direct Investments, Household Final Consumption Expenditure, Adult Literacy Rate, Urban Population, Investments in Energy, and Energy Use. This mix of both economic and social factors will be examined for associations with the UN-MDG indicator of environmental sustainability. After the associated variables are identified, they will be used to create a model to predict data for the years 2008 and 2012.

As a social/urban scientist interested in analyzing and planning for better urban environments, I am always looking for data and analysis that can influence the development of urban environments that limit environmental impacts and maximize livability. I hope that through the understanding of the relationships between various social and economic variables and their effects on the environment, policy makers can create better policies and make informed decisions to positively benefit development and to improve the environmental conditions in countries around the world.

With better predicative models and better understanding of the relationships between the society, the economy, and the environment, organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations can then target specific areas, for example investments in energy, to alleviate poverty and improve environmental conditions around the world.

Interim 2006 (65)

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