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CityStudio: How It Started

In 2010, the City of Vancouver put a call out for ideas to help reach its goal to become the greenest city in the world. Dr. Janet Moore and Duane Elverum answered with their vision: a school in which the city is the classroom and experience is the teacher. The CityStudio model of city-campus collaboration was created in 2011 with founding partners City of Vancouver and Simon Fraser University. The movement has since grown to reach cities across Canada and around the world.

In May 2017, Carol Aitken, co-coordinator of the IDEA Bachelor of Design at Capilano University attended Art of Cities, a conference where attendees learn to build and launch their own CityStudio. In 2019, the City of North Vancouver council unanimously approved a strategic plan to become the “Healthiest Small City in the World,” just as CapU refined its vision to become a community-based university with an emphasis on experiential learning.

On April 30th 2019, City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan and Capilano University President Paul Dangerfield signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) launching the CityStudio North Vancouver pilot, a one-year partnership to launch and test CityStudio North Vancouver. In Fall 2020, based on the success of the pilot year, the City of North Vancouver and Capilano University signed a 3-year MOU to continue the initiative.