Semester in Dialogue
- Janet Moore
- Holly Schmidt
- Adrian Sinclair
City of Vancouver:
- Stina Hanson
- Brennan Strandberg-Salmon
- Rebecca Tran
- Charlotte Liu
- Alexandra Marion
- Vancouver Plan
Nearly 40% of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from burning gasoline and diesel in our vehicles. We’re also expecting to gain one million residents in the Metro Vancouver region in the next 20 years. How can we move around Vancouver in a more climate-friendly and equitable way?
We wanted to create a fun and COVID-friendly way to engage youth on this topic. We hosted an online design challenge called A Fossil Fuel-Free Future, which brought together participants aged 18-25 from environmental youth organizations to design their 2050 vision of Vancouver without fossil-fueled vehicles. During the two-hour event, youth worked in teams of 4-5 to brainstorm and create their design using Miro, an online collaboration platform.
The teams’ ideas ranged from electric flying pods to AI-controlled energy usage. Afterwards, each group presented their project to judges from the City of Vancouver, who decided on a winning design based on four criteria: innovative, sustainable, equitable, and youthful.
Our class had the opportunity to help Stina Hanson, the City of Vancouver’s Child and Youth Engagement Planner, prototype youth engagement projects to shape the Vancouver Plan. Our group, the Eco-Logical Alliance, tackled provisional goal #3 in the plan: to become a sustainable and carbon-neutral city.
The outcomes of this project provided invaluable youth perspectives to shape the Vancouver Plan. The dynamic, collaborative setting stimulated blue-sky brainstorming, allowing youth to envision the future they want rather than a future that is most practical or sensible.
Our lessons learned and recommendations from this experience will be packaged into a toolkit that can be used by Stina and other planners looking to engage youth in a fun, safe and meaningful way. The toolkit is scalable and multi-purposed, and adaptable to a wide range of stakeholders. (Toolkit will be available at a later date.)