Photo courtesy CityStudio Vancouver

Vancouver one of 7 cities reclaiming education through learning that builds a city

The level of cognitive, energetic and creative surplus that is unleashed when undergrad students are asked to help build their cities has happily astounded Duane Elverum. It’s also swelled his sense of urgency around shaping the conditions to spur this unleashing more and more.

“I feel a vibration. My heart beats faster, my hands start to sweat, when I think about how do we move faster, how do we get this going, how do we put this on the big wheel so to speak,” Duane tells Axiom News.

Seven years ago Duane launched CityStudio Vancouver with his colleague and fellow Simon Fraser University professor, Janet Moore. In very simple terms, the studio matches universities’ capacity with civic needs. Besides activating the unleashing mentioned above, the studio is shrinking the gap between higher learning and municipal government. It also represents a new way of distributing problems.

Cormac Russell

Cormac Russell's picture

Jane Jacobs' (an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist who significantly influenced urban studies) advice to communities is to stop being subservient to those with grand visions and “Do what’s right for now and the future will turn out as well as it can.”

Peter Pula

Peter Pula's picture

There are two recurring complaints addressed in this letter:

  • Generative journalism just publishes “nice” and “positive” stories and doesn’t face reality
  • The phrase, “emerging narrative of gifts” is a string of buzzwords that are ultimately meaningless.

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