CityStudio Champion: Ileana Costrut

CityStudio Champion

This series profiles the champs and superstars collaborating with CityStudio to co-create a more liveable, joyful and sustainable city.

NAME: Ileana Costrut

ROLE: Projects Coordinator

ORGANIZATION: CityStudio Vancouver

How are you involved with CityStudio? I work there!

What’s your favourite thing about Vancouver?
Biking early in the morning with glimpses of the mountains, or in the evenings and smelling all the flowers from the incredible amount of plant life in the city.

If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about Vancouver, what would you change?
The practical me would like to decrease the cost of living in the city; the idealist would like to hear that we are one of the friendliest, warm and welcoming cities for visitors and residents.

If you weren’t a Projects Coordinator, what would you be?
I’d be involved with waste education. I’ve always been drawn to learning about waste and the circular economy and education/behavioural change around that.

What have you nerded-out on lately?
The last two books I read are the Upcycle by Michael Braughart & William McDonough and Garbology: Our dirty love affair with trash, by Edward Humes. Both so interesting and different in terms of our relationship to consumption. The Upcycle encourages a transition in thinking from austerity/sacrifice to abundance, saying that living abundantly is possible if we design our world for net-positive outcomes. Garbology is a critique of overconsumption and a fascinating overview of the waste system in the US, explored through a socio-cultural, technological and scientific lens. It makes me want to learn more about the history of waste management in the Canadian context.

How has working with CityStudio impacted you or changed the way you think or do things?
I’ve loved experiencing what’s called the ‘CityStudio Way:’ people coming together in a circle listening and sharing. When meeting new people, the CityStudio team likes to ask a question during the introduction round, like “What are your vacation plans for the summer?”. These questions invite people to share a personal story, experience or interest. Taking the time right from the beginning to get to know each other on a personal level changes the tone and quality of engagement in the meeting. This is one of the first things that I noticed about working here, and it really resonated.

What’s on your desk or radar in the coming year?
Does learning the ins-and-outs of my job count? (laughter) I’m looking forward to seeing all the work of students, City staff and faculty members come alive at our Hubbub events. On the weekends I’ll probably be in the mountains or on my bike, for some nature quality time.

Learn more about Ileana here and where to find her this year – including on a campus near you!