Sustainacity aims to address the question of how to increase climate literacy within the city by capitalizing on the increasing use of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Our goal is to create informative and relatable posts in order to increase engagement with Vancouverites and identify simple alterations each person can implement in their daily lives.




Applied Environmental Studies: CityStudio (ENVS 2100)


  • Drew Egan
  • Mike Smith-Cairns

City of Vancouver:

  • Brad Badelt

Student Team:

  • Camila Sena Hufnagel Caldas
  • Laura Daniela Ramos Diaz
  • Shadae Antoniette Grant
  • Christian Lau


Fall 2022


Sustainacity aims to address the question of how to increase climate literacy within the city by capitalizing on the increasing use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok. Our goal is to create informative and relatable posts.

The city has tasked us with identifying how to improve local climate literacy. Within our research, we have noted that Vancouver youths have repeatedly expressed concern about climate change but are unsure of how they can help. It was our duty to bridge the existing gap between the citizens and the city. In doing so, we cross-referenced the city’s age demographic with social media usage and found that one of the best ways to get information across is through social media platforms. With that knowledge, we decided to utilize two platforms, namely Instagram and TikTok, to post informative, inclusive, and relatable photos and videos.

The City of Vancouver has been proactive in adopting and continuously revising its ‘Greenest City’ goals, and we chose to use these goals, mainly Green Buildings, Green Transportation and Zero Waste, to guide our posts. Our objective was also to evaluate engagement on these social media sites to identify knowledge deficits and revise content based on feedback to model the most appropriate social media marketing practice for enhancing the climate literacy of CoV citizens. When analyzing the feedback, we noted that within the 26 days since we began posting content, we received approximately 4000 views, with the majority of those views coming from our Instagram page. Going forward, we have identified that adequate digital/social marketing and dedicated content creation hours are needed in order to better promote both pages and increase engagement.



Next Steps

For the next steps, our plan is to share the project with the City Staff, suggesting the following:

1) Continue developing social media materials and enhance interaction with Vancouver’s citizens, including hashtags and content in foreign languages to assure inclusivity in this multicultural city.

2) The inclusion of incentive-based activities like scavenger hunt or video submissions of residents performing activities that lower their Carbon Footprint. This will garner greater participation from Vancouver’s residents.

3) Collaborate with energy providers such as BC Hydro and Fortis BC.

4) Promote Green Businesses in town to enhance the green economy.

5) Consider developing a mobile app to reach residents in a closer and daily manner.

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