Iggy Lao + Alcohol in Public Spaces Research

Iggy Lao was part of the team that conducted research on the Alcohol in Public Spaces pilot in Fall 2020. His group won First Place at HUBBUB #3. Here are some thoughts he shared about his experience of CityStudio! 

What is your background, and what are your career aspirations? 

My name is Iggy Lao and I’m currently in my 4th year of the Bachelor of Tourism Management program, in the hotel management concentration. My background has always been in hotels as I come from a family of hoteliers based in the Philippines. I currently work for a campground based in Burnaby. As of right now my career aspirations are to enter the hotel industry and learn the ins and outs of the industry. As for my future goals, I hope to work my way up to a management position or return home to the Philippines and work with my family. 

Tell us a bit about your CityStudio project – what was the question / problem and what did your group develop? 

The project we were tasked with was to research the effects of the Alcohol in Public Spaces Pilot Project in the Lower Lonsdale area. As for what my group members and I did, we created numerous reports over the duration of the semester that fought for the validity of the pilot program. To do this, we researched similar programs that were implemented in other countries as well as researching academic articles that outlined the benefits of implementing bylaws that allowed alcohol in public spaces. Additionally, our group also interviewed business owners and stakeholders in the Lower Lonsdale area and collected their responses to the pilot program and how it affected them. 

How did the CityStudio experience differ from other group projects you have completed? 

Working with CityStudio was a very different but also an amazing experience because we were able to work with city officials in order to better the community.  Other university group projects that I’ve done were mostly theoretical and while those projects were educational, the scenarios that were provided almost always had near perfect or perfect conditions. This experience was so different and unique because our research and our actions had real world impact and my group mates and I are very grateful for the experience. 

What was the best part of your CityStudio experience? What was the most challenging part?   

I think being able to work with the community was the best part of my CityStudio experience but my experience would not have been the same if not for my group members so I also have them to thank for an awesome experience. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this but working around the COVID-19 pandemic was the most challenging part of this project.  

How would you make CityStudio a more enriching and transformative experience for students? What would your advice be to any student interested in pursuing a CityStudio project? 

In my opinion, I think CityStudio is already doing a fantastic job by working with universities and providing students with these amazing opportunities. My personal advice would be to make sure to stay on top of your research and keep up with current developments in the project. 

Iggy’s CityStudio experience was the result of a collaboration between Paul Duffy, Bylaw Officer at the City of North Vancouver, and Francisco Nogueira, Instructor at Capilano University. Learn more about his group’s project here.