Centre for Dialogue
SFU Semester at CityStudio
- Holly Schmidt
- Adrian Sinclair
- Janet Moore
City of Vancouver:
- Cory Dobson | Planner
- City-wide Plan
What do you get when you mix youth voice and empowerment, with a dash of intrigue? During their time at CityStudio, the Fall 2018 SFU Semester in Dialogue cohort spent 12 weeks thinking about the question, “How might young people stay and thrive in Vancouver?” They focused on the issues facing students. The combination of struggles relating to affordability, social connection and pressure to overwork means that many of them are among the 65% of students in BC who struggle with mental health issues. This has to change.
Vancouver is developing a new 2019 City Plan, and young people have something to say about it. By working with Cory Dobson, an Urban Planner focused on the City Plan, the cohort investigated five ways students interact with the city and prototyped solutions for the current gaps identified due to the lack of a youth voice.
The cohort looked at the topics of housing, food, leisure, digital strategy, and arts and culture through a student lens. By applying the concept of human-centered design, putting the user at the center of the solution, the students created five projects that have the potential to create better living conditions for other students in Vancouver.
Zoned Out: Advocating for Student Zoning in Vancouver
Student Food Network: Partnering with Restaurants to Provide $5 Meals for Students
The Night is Young: Shaping Arts and Culture Events with a Youth Perspective
Cozy Crate: Creating Urban Hygge in Outdoor Public Space
Charge & Connect: Keeping Vancouver Connected
Over 7 weeks of research, the cohort also created a Student Manifesto aimed at impacting the new City Plan with engaged youth voices to help young people stay, thrive, grow and continue to make Vancouver a vibrant and dynamic place. The Student Manifesto is intended to be a living document, existing as a hub for other students to share their thoughts and opinions on how to make Vancouver a more livable home and to spark conversation connecting young people to the issues facing the future of Vancouver.
As students in Vancouver, we will thrive when…
We can afford to live in the city.
We take on the work of decolonization.
We have access to events that are art-centric, not bar-centric.
Time with friends is seen as a necessity, not a luxury.
Unpredictable battery life doesn’t leave us stranded.
We feel safe at night.
Our voices are heard.
Our food culture is diverse and sustainable.
We can all afford to eat.
Our value isn’t measured by our productivity.
It’s not surprising to receive a living wage.
Our rent is only 30% of our income.
We can live in the city.