Highlights from CityStudio – Spring 2022

Spring is here! Here are some highlights from the first few months of 2022:


Welcome, Paige Sanford, our new Operations Administrator
This winter we bid farewell to Patricia Pon. Taking up the role is Paige Sanford, a seasoned professional with over 25 years’ experience in business and finance. Paige is a big believer of lifelong learning and is looking forward to supporting the team, and especially working with students and feeling the energy and excitement hungry minds create. “I am very excited to be a part of the CityStudio Vancouver team and grateful to be granted this opportunity. I feel this role is a perfect fit for me with my skills and experience and am settling in well. I am also grateful to be working with such amazing, caring and welcoming people. I look forward to the challenges to come!”

Update on our 80% Work Week Experiment
We recently ​​launched an 80%, fully paid work week experiment in response to the pandemic, and we’re nearing the end of the first phase. The research originating from the Iceland Experiment shows conclusively that increases in productivity are accompanied by stress reduction and a greater work-life balance. Although our initial staff surveys show a positive shift towards a healthier life-work balance, there is a learning curve as we all settle into new patterns of teamwork, prioritizing work plan items and scheduling. The pandemic has never distributed itself equally in our communities, but this experiment aims to provide some relief. We look forward to sharing our learning in the coming weeks.

We’ve joined the Next Generation Cities Institute
We are very excited to join the Next-Generation Cities Institute, bringing our decade of municipal/post-secondary collaboration experience to this important project at Concordia University. The institute aims to understand and implement learning for cities that are inclusive, connected, collaborative, ecological, healthy, moving us all toward a zero-carbon future focused on quality of life and relationships.



Read our Op-Ed in the National Observer Why Students, Why Now?
The next decade may be the most pivotal of our lives and we need everyone working towards a just transition, including students. In an op-ed written by Duane Elverum and Alix Linaker, this article describes the work of our network and addresses the question of how our education system can best prepare students for the intersecting environmental and social crises they are facing in cities across Canada?  Read the op-ed here.

Welcome CityStudio Ottawa
Welcome and congratulations to the City of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa and the Centre for Global and Community Engagement! This first phase of CityStudio Ottawa will focus on the social determinants of health within the City of Ottawa’s Community Safety Well-Being Plan, which focuses on strategic priorities for the city including mental health well-being, housing, poverty reduction, and more.

Welcome CityStudio South Island
Welcome and congratulations to the City of Langford and Royal Roads University on the first phase of CityStudio South Island! The latest addition to the network is the evolution of CityStudio Victoria, which now encompasses the southern region of Vancouver Island and towns within the capital regional district. CityStudio programming will be offered as part of a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a focus on innovation and sustainability and will ultimately serve the project-based learning model and needs of the University as a whole.



HUBBUB 18 And The Launch Of The Anniversary Celebration
HUBBUB 18: 10th Anniversary Edition took place on April 8, 2022. We had wonderful engagement and participation from city councilors, academic leaders, board members and a record-breaking 175 people in attendance. Discover this semester’s top projects in our latest blog, 20 Actionable Student Innovations in the City. The showcase also marked the beginning of our 10th anniversary celebrations with engaging animations, a nostalgic nod to HUBBUB posters from the past, and Champions who have said “yes” to the CityStudio Way for many years.

Happy Anniversary CityStudio Vancouver
We are looking ahead at what the next decade looks like with the City of Vancouver and our post-secondary partners. Our anniversary festivities will take place through the summer including a CityStudio Stories Contest, an impact survey, stories of inspired action and more. We hope to connect with you in person to celebrate the next ten years and beyond – stay tuned for updates, a fundraising announcement and for your invitation.

Staff feature – Nina Abizadeh
Nina joined the CityStudio Vancouver team just before our HUBBUB 17 project showcase and hit the ground running tackling the tech with enthusiasm and expertise to match that of the team. “I feel incredibly blessed to have joined a supportive, thoughtful and most importantly healthy team environment at CityStudio. I am continually in awe of the creativity students have brought to their projects this term. Instructors looked to introduce meaningful projects to the students.” You can learn more about Nina in her staff profile.