CityStudio Vancouver is an innovation hub where City staff, students and community co-create experimental projects to make Vancouver more sustainable, liveable and joyful. It launched in 2011 as a collaboration between the City of Vancouver and the city’s public post-secondary institutions and is part of a global shift in education that provides practical learning experiences to help students get jobs and change the world. CityStudio Vancouver is the first of its kind in Canada and unique around the world.


CityStudio Vancouver is working to shift the way students, City staff, faculty and community members work together to co-create solutions to our city’s most complex problems. Through the launching of experimental projects on-the-ground, university students learn the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy and inspire action in the community and government.


Community Hub

We aim to build trust relationships in the community by providing space for citizens to meet, connect, collaborate and engage.

Studio Courses

We launch experimental projects as part of an immersive and innovative studio-based education program open to students from all partner schools. For one semester, students trade classes for the studio, working directly with City staff to research, design and implement projects through which they develop job skills, experience group process and build networks.

Campus Courses

We connect faculty and students on university campuses with City staff to design, experiment and deliver projects in the community. We also provide network access, career training and the opportunity to develop valuable skills.

Project Development

We host dialogues to identify and scope projects that innovate and align with City priorities with the aim of shifting culture at City Hall. Many of these projects will become the focus of the students in Studio and Campus Courses.

Global Sharing

We teach the CityStudio model with other cities through our Art of Cities conference, speaking events and workshops and coach other cities to help them connect schools, faculty and students to city-building.


To co-create a city where students are deeply engaged inside City Hall to make our city more livable, joyful and sustainable.

  • To build trust-based relationships between students, city staff, faculty and citizens and partners.
  • To launch experimental projects that advance specific city goals.
  • To inspire students to be more engaged citizens.
  • To shift culture inside city hall and higher education.
  • To contribute to a global movement that makes our cities more creative and innovative.
Our Manifesto


CityStudio Vancouver was co-founded by Dr. Janet Moore and Duane Elverum to accelerate sustainability in higher learning and provide students with direct opportunities to work on the most challenging urban sustainability problems facing Vancouver.

CityStudio Vancouver was born in response to Vancouver’s ambitious plan to become the Greenest City in the world by 2020. Since then, it has moved beyond goals of pure sustainability to engage students and stakeholders in the hands-on work necessary to implement a broad range of city strategies including: The Healthy City Strategy, The Engaged City, the Greenest City Action Plan, The City of Reconciliation and the Renewable City.

In the past 5 years CityStudio Vancouver has engaged 4,232 students; 201 Faculty across 7 universities; 208 City of Vancouver staff; and over 150 guests in dialogue and consultation. Students have logged a total of 59,184 hours working on projects that will make Vancouver more sustainable, liveable and joyful.