About CityStudio

We believe students are critical to the future of cities. By bringing your knowledge and understanding of the world you want to live in together with city staff and real-world projects, we (you!) are helping co-create a more sustainable, liveable and joyful city.

Read more about CityStudio.

CityStudio is an independent organization; we are not city staff but we exist to serve the city. As a founding partner, the City of Vancouver strongly supports and advises us on our work.

CityStudio Vancouver is a registered Canadian charity that is funded by our partners: the City of Vancouver, SFU, UBC, BCIT and Langara College. We are also supported by community funders like Vancouver Foundation, individual donors, and consult with cities on how to adopt the CityStudio model.

Interested in supporting CityStudio? Donate now.

We develop projects with City staff, coordinate project matches with faculty at our partner schools, design experiments together with students and City staff, test final projects in the community and share results at City Hall.

CityStudio Vancouver is an innovation hub that unites City of Vancouver staff, post-secondary students, faculty members and community to work together to design experimental projects that make Vancouver more sustainable, liveable and joyful

Learn more about CityStudio or get to know the partners we work with.

About the projects

We believe projects that meet 5 criteria (the “5 S’s”) will have the most impact in our city. They need to be created together with city Staff, have sufficient funding or Support, launched on a real Site, have a Steward lined-up to take over once the course has finished, and have the potential to Scale.

We work with professors and instructors at our partner schools to find courses that can integrate projects into the term. As a student, you can participate in a CityStudio project by taking a course that we’ve partnered with. You’ll find a list of them on your school page.

Most of the courses we partner with are “campus courses” – they take place on campus and you can register for them through your academic institution just like any other course. “Studio courses” take place off campus (often in our studio) and are intensive programs that replace regular classes for a term. You may need to apply to attend these programs. You may also want to speak with an academic advisor prior to applying.

Faculty member or City staff interested in partnering with us? Learn more here.

CityStudio measures its impact using an evaluation and reporting framework with a theory of change that’s based on our manifesto, goals and desired outcomes.

We look at the number and quality of projects, the relationships connecting City staff, post-secondary institutions and community as well as how we’re making Vancouver more liveable, joyful and sustainable through CityStudio-inspired actions, projects or people. To do this, we track metrics like number of students, projects, faculty and staff as well as hours that students spend creating change in the city.

See our annual report for the latest evaluation results.

By nature all CityStudio projects are experimental; some are turned into permanent solutions while others become new experiments. Either way, all projects are a means for developing and maintaining relationships with our stakeholders. We believe good projects come from good relationships.

We prioritize projects that align with City of Vancouver goals or strategies. Feel free to get in touch if you have an idea for a project that you think would be a good fit.

Each year we work with a diverse range of city departments and academic faculties, which means projects vary widely. To ensure the highest impact for the city, project ideas are mostly sourced directly from city staff based on key City of Vancouver strategies and goals. We use a creative and collaborative process to do this, including a multi-stakeholder Project Development meeting which takes place annually.

Explore some of our past projects.

For cities

Yes! A growing number cities across Canada and the world have adopted or been inspired by the CityStudio model: Abbotsford, BC; Bendigo, Australia; Brantford, ON; Corner Brook, NL; Hamilton, ON; Logan, Australia; London, ON; North Vancouver, BC; Oslo, Norway; Region of Durham, ON; Victoria, BC; and Waterloo, ON.

Yes, we offer tours for a small fee. Please contact the team outlining your request (dates, number of guests, etc.) and we’ll get in touch with the options.

Read more about our work with other cities and get in touch if your city is interested in learning more about licensing the CityStudio model.

Yes. Please get in touch – we’d love to learn more about what you’re looking for.

Working with us

CityStudio relies on the generosity, energy and passion of volunteers for HUBBUB, Art of Cities and other events and activities. Follow our blog for upcoming volunteer opportunities or get in touch to be put on the volunteer list.

We don’t often work directly with community or industry groups, but if your mission aligns with existing City of Vancouver goals or strategies, we’d be happy to chat.

We can work with all academic faculties and city departments. Learn more about working with us.