Award-winning model for city-campus collaboration announces independence as CityStudio Vancouver Society

Vancouver, BC – Seven years after launching as a collaborative project between founding partners City of Vancouver and Simon Fraser University, CityStudio Vancouver is now the CityStudio Vancouver Society, an independent not-for-profit organization and registered Canadian charity.

“CityStudio aims to create deep collaboration between municipal and academic partners in cities” shares Duane Elverum, interim Executive Director of CityStudio. “As an independent, charitable organization we are able to push further in terms of delivering our mission and expanding the CityStudio movement around the globe. It’s a very exciting time for us.”

The CityStudio Vancouver Society’s vision is better cities, built by students. Its mission is to create liveable, sustainable and joyful cities by connecting post-secondary students with city staff to design and launch experimental projects on-the-ground.

The new society also announced its Board of Directors, composed of six members:

  • Dr. Janet Moore, Chair and Secretary
  • Patrick Seeton, Treasurer
  • Lauren Dobell, Director
  • Veronika Bylicki, Director
  • Paul Moore, Director
  • Doug Smith, City of Vancouver Ex-Officio

The pilot project, co-founded by Janet Moore and Duane Elverum, began in response to the City of Vancouver’s public consultation to become the greenest city in the world by 2020 and was the first of its kind in Canada.

“CityStudio has changed the way Vancouver engages students and residents to create solutions,” comments Sadhu Johnston, City Manager for the City of Vancouver.

Seven years since its launch, CityStudio has successfully collaborated with 215 courses at its partner institutions, including SFU, UBC, Langara College, BCIT, Emily Carr, NEC and VCC. A total of 4,937 students have participated in the program as of this past summer, creating 550 solutions to city challenges and helping further the City’s Greenest City Action Plan, Healthy City Strategy, New Start Strategy and Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, among others.

The model has won a number of awards, including the Cordes Innovation Award from Ashoka U in 2013.

“CityStudio is an amazing bridge that connects students directly with the bureaucracy of a city in a way that deeply values their experience and optimism,” explains Janet Moore, CityStudio’s Board Chair, Co-Founder and Strategist. “Our students are asked to launch a project in their community and get feedback from city staff and community partners in a short timeframe for course credit. The entire city benefits through the projects and prototypes by giving us all a vision of what is possible when we work together. I’m inspired daily by the optimism and innovative ideas of our students.”

In addition to continuing its mission in Vancouver, the CityStudio Vancouver Society is also focused on growing the movement around the world through licensing of the CityStudio model. Five other cities across Canada have adopted the innovative model – including Victoria (BC), Abbotsford (BC), Branford (ON), Waterloo (ON) and Corner Brook (NL) – as well as the cities of Logan and Bendigo in Australia.

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