Licensing FAQs


What is included in a CityStudio license?

A CityStudio license gives you access to the CityStudio framework, including IP such as the name and logo, tools for setup and operation, and hands-on support from the team in Vancouver. You will also receive membership to the CityStudio Network where you can connect with and learn from other CityStudio teams.


How do I know if CityStudio is a good fit for my city and if we’re ready?

CityStudio is a proven framework for municipal innovation and experimentation. Cities looking to expand their problem solving capacity and shift the way staff approach key challenges in their work would benefit from having a CityStudio.

High level buy-in from the city and at least one post-secondary institution is important for moving forward in the licensing process. Review our readiness checklist to learn more.


How much is a license and what are the annual fees?

A CityStudio license costs $30,000 CAD and includes membership in the CityStudio Network for two years. After this period, the annual network membership fee is $5,000 CAD.


How much does it cost to operate a CityStudio?

The annual operating cost of a CityStudio varies for each city, but is often between $75-120,000 a year. This includes the first key hire: a Projects Coordinator who splits their time between administration activities and project development.


How long does the licensing process take and does it expire?

The timeline for setting up a CityStudio varies for each city, often between 1-2 years; some have facilitated their first projects within eight months, others require more time to connect with partners and stakeholders.

The license is a 5-year renewable agreement.


Who should hold the license?

Licenses can be held by either the city or a post-secondary institution and are supported by MOUs between partners. There can only be a single license holder in each city.


How flexible is the model?

CityStudio occupies a unique space in the city-campus relationship. We leverage the creativity, skills and knowledge of post-secondary students to tackle real challenges in the city, all within the scope of a student’s regular coursework. That said, the CityStudio model can also be adjusted to fit different contexts.


What is the best governance structure for CityStudio?

The governance structure of each CityStudio is unique and can be designed for the local context. In principle, CityStudio is a collaborative initiative for which costs and benefits are shared. The aim is to create a non-partisan matching service between city needs and post-secondary expertise.

The budget can be held at the city, a school or a non-profit organization.


Do we need to use the CityStudio name?

Cities find great value in being part of the CityStudio Network. Our aim is to grow this movement across Canada and around the world. Through this work, we are also building brand awareness and recognition, to the benefit all licensees. 

In the case where existing campus-city collaborations have been developed, we can support further development by contributing our knowledge in this space. These non-branded initiatives are also invited to become members of the network.


Where are the other CityStudios?

The CityStudio Network is expanding across Canada and around the world. See the list here.


Is there an opportunity to learn from other CityStudios once launched?

Absolutely. The CityStudio Network exists for the benefit of all licensed CityStudios and affiliates. We encourage teams to regularly connect with each other, share new learnings and provide support.


Can I speak with other CityStudio teams before deciding on the license?

Yes, we encourage you to learn as much as possible about how a CityStudio could benefit your city and what is required to launch one. We’d be happy to help connect you with other teams.


Ready to get started? Contact our team.