Degree granting inter-institutional relationship between the regions post secondary education institutions and municipal governments to study, research and solve our pressing city and regional challenges.
There is a Campus City Collaborative project in the early stages of planning, where all of the post-secondary institutions are working with the City and the VEDC to talk about movement toward the greenest city, with a focus on creation of green jobs.
Yes, yes, yes!! To me this is a no-brainer... Universities are hubs of resources, 'expertise', and young people with passion and energy to make a difference! Lets take some long-overdue steps to putting them to work in our communities and giving young people meaningful ways to put their educations to use! Everybody wins!
Yes.. as a city striving to be sustainable it is essential that we fully contemplate and understand the complexity of ecological, social, economic and political contexts within which we are currently planning the scale, shape and character of Vancouver’s “greenest” future. And, yes, one would like to believe that our leading institutions of higher learning should be at the forefront of this process to ensure that our decisions are well informed by critical and unbiased assessment of competing interests and available knowledge. Surely a cooperative City University could be a focus of this sort of dialogue. We should also admit, however, that Vancouver is simultaneously a city that is inordinately focused on real estate development and it is notable that both UBC and SFU are rapidly converting forests to condos under the banner of environmental sustainability (search related idea “Stop UBC sprawl”). Given obvious political influence exerted by the development industry and related conflicted interests, nobody should be surprised that accelerated real estate development (i.e. EcoDensity) is central to City’s current strategy for Vancouver’s “greenest” future, and there is no reason to presume that a City University wouldn’t be similarly conflicted and misguided. As the saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, everything's a nail.
Duane Elverum commented
It was a great honour for Janet Moore and I to present this idea as 1 of the 4 selected from Talk Green To Us for presentation to the Mayor's panel this past Friday evening. We received some great feedback and support from the panel and look forward to the next steps in the City U project. Thanks to everyone for voting. Below is our presentation from the evening:
What do we think education is for?
Were going to take the first minute here and ask you all a question: Take a moment to think about a time when you had your most engaged and mind-blowing learning experience....
How many of you had this experience in a lecture class? Probably none of you. You probably weren’t sitting in a chair, at a desk, or at a computer. It happened outside of a classroom; it probably involved a mixed group; and involved your mind, your hands and maybe your whole body?
What if university learning was like this?
We love Vancouver's ambitious targets and we think everyone needs to be involved. We support the action plan mandate for campus/city collaborations and we think that the city can be the classroom.
Students and teachers at our universities represent an enormous pool of energy that is ready and waiting to be mobilized in the city to work on the hardest problems we have.
There are some excellent programs underway; SCARP, Green Scholars and SFU Dialogue, but there needs to be more, and they need to be integrated.
When the city is the classroom, students, teachers, professionals and government will work collaboratively on long-term and real-world projects; not just for 3 or 6 credits; but for their entire inter-institutional degree doing research and learning how we can reach our goals together.
For everyone involved, a City University opens up a space for transformative learning; this is learning with a strong purpose; with community groups and citizens; with limits and budgets, and direct insights into local business needs.
When you discuss this idea tonight along with the others, we ask that you continue to consider our opening question: when did learning really matter to you, and how can we use this learning to achieve our greenest city targets?
Don't forget the colleges. They are about half the cost of UBC and SFU, which may make them more accessible for those (like all of us) with limited funds. Plus, Langara already has an Environmental Studies program, so maybe that program could build stronger connections with local governments.
Teresa Kühl commented
What we should do to take part in this SFU program? This opportunity sounds great.
Marie C commented
I like this and I like the one where the seniors are consulted. I think it would be great if there could be a forum where all members and levels of our society could come together (like this one!) to find solutions. It will take all of us working together to make things happen. Each person takes steps towards the goal and puts forward their thoughts and hopes and suggestions.
SFU has a downtown campus and some of its programmes involved interacting with the outside world addressing real-world problems (Semester in Dialogue for instance). Rather than create another institution with another set of overheads and administrators, push for expansion of what is already existing. Get SFU to move from "Thinking of the World" to 'Engaging with the World".
Spencer Rasmussen commented
This is brilliant. Universities have massive research capacity. The city has sustainability research it needs done.
It's also essential to go outside the formal educational system, and target everyone outside of the system. On buses, skytrains, TV, etc. to alert to easy, sustainable changes they can make in their lives. Things they may not be aware of eg; encourage them to get rid of chafer beetles on their lawns, by digging them up, and planting food gardens instead. Chafer beetles can point the way to a more sustainable future!!
Karling MacAskill commented
Steven Forth commented
I wonder if we put too much emphasis on university style education and not enough on the trades. As we live longer and weave more careers into our life times perhaps we should be encouraging more people to have a trade, a university degree and a professional degree. We could begin to build apprenticeship programs in the key areas that are going to be needed in a green economy. I suspect that people who learn to work with their hands and their minds become more deeply skilled than those who do only one or the other.
jennifer morrow commented
This is entirely a good idea. I hope it works out!
Desmond Berghofer commented
This is a good idea to bring the intelligence and enthusiasm of youg people to bear on practical problems that need to be solved. It would also encourage their teachers to focus theoretical insights on such issues. It shoud be designed in such a way that it is a win-win for students, university and municipal governments.
Scott Andrews commented
This is a fantastic idea!
Student energy is exactly what is needed to make the transition. A collaborative exchange of energy, ideas, credits, degrees, innovation, enterprise, jobs...city university has it all. :)
Micky Nagai commented
Bikes Bikes Bikes!!!
Kristen Gagnon commented
This is a good idea. My experience is that university students have loads of mental energy to put into their projects, as they are typically not yet encumbered by kids/mortgages/the daily grind. How great to harness that energy AND give them some specific experience to reference when they finish school and go into the field to work!
Teresa Kühl commented
Keona, I agree with you.
The knowledge of students should be tested or tried in real life in order to impact the world positively. By the way, encourage the society to behave and think "green" is an important step toward to 2020 Greenest City Target.
So, what about arrange an appointment with all those who are interested in study, research or solve our pressing city and regional challenges? We could discuss ideas of how it should be done. Let's share different points of view! I bet that together we can come up with brilliant possibilities of make our lifestyle less aggressive to the environment.
I suggest go to a coffee in the VPL (Vancouver Public Library) on next Sunday at 1 o'clock.
Who are in? Join us and speak your mind!