About CityStudio Vancouver

CityStudio Vancouver aims to shift the way students, City staff, faculty and community members work together to co-create solutions for our city.

About us

CityStudio Vancouver launched in 2011 in collaboration with our founding academic partner Simon Fraser University and founding civic partner City of Vancouver. We also partner with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Langara College, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and the Native Education College (NEC).

Through the launching of experimental projects co-created together with City staff and community, university students in Vancouver have the opportunity to actively contribute to the development of their city and gain employable skills. This also inspires a culture shift in City Hall by demonstrating future possibilities and changing the way our cities are built for the better.

Guided by a theory of change, we measure our success on the quality of the projects and the strength of the relationships connecting City of Vancouver, its post-secondary institutions and the community.


Our vision is for a more liveable, joyful and sustainable Vancouver where students are deeply engaged inside City Hall.


Our mission is to innovate and experiment with the ways cities are co-created, while teaching students the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy and inspire action in the community and government.

CityStudio Manifesto

CityStudio’s manifesto directs what we do, how we do it and why. It reminds us of what matters most about the CityStudio way.

We don’t employ a devil’s advocate at CityStudio. We say Yes more than No. We remain curious and stay open to others’ ideas.

We learn by doing. By following an idea. By experimenting with our hands. By taking risks. By trying, struggling and failing forward fast.

And in the end, we have done something that is real. We find ways to tackle global issues by putting a project on the ground in a local place.

We learn that good projects come from good relationships. That working together is the only way it can work. And that we can’t solve a complex problem without hearing from everyone affected by it.

We sit in a circle and speak from our hearts and our minds. We learn to listen. We learn to enjoy the long pause that emerges in a rich dialogue. We learn how to design. We find better problems to solve. We learn that aesthetics matter.

We work on a team and reflect on our process together. We believe that small projects can add up to big changes in our community, our city and in ourselves.

And if we do it right, we will be high fiving at the end.

We’ve been to the future and it ends well.

Trust the Process.

Impact to Date

  • 232 courses across 7 universities and colleges
  • 292 faculty and instructors
  • 5,354 students
  • 222 City of Vancouver staff
  • 674 projects
  • 148,726 student hours