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Greenest City Scholars Program reaches 5th year

September 16 2014

Greenest City Scholar Angie Nicholas presents her project about waste diversion at special events

Since launching five years ago, the Greenest City Scholars Program has connected 59 University of British Columbia (UBC) graduate students with the City of Vancouver to perform meaningful research on sustainability initiatives.

Developed by UBC and the City of Vancouver, the program exposes graduate students to real world problems and provides new insights into potential solutions.

The students apply their research to influence and contribute to City policies related to the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Proposals deemed feasible by City staff may be further developed.

Scholars help inform and secure funding for City's sustainability programs

The program is valuable to the City as students introduce fresh ideas, new perspectives, and advance program initiatives. Nine former scholars now work for the City. For UBC, the program offers graduate students the opportunity to integrate their classroom and lab experience into the community.

Previous scholar work has informed policy development related to the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan such as the Local Food Procurement Policy and the Urban Forest Strategy. Scholar work has also helped secure funding for programs such as the electric vehicle charging program, and has helped with such innovative programs as an anti-idling system for police cruiser vehicles.

Explore the projects from this year's 18 scholars

Watch a playlist of short videos

Get introduced to some of the projects, such as: the viability of electric vehicles for the Vancouver Police Department, waste diversion at special events, energy benchmarking for buildings, neighbourhood social resilience, and more.

List of scholars and their projects

Scholars linked their projects to Greenest City 2020 Action Plan goals and worked with many City departments.

Greenest City goal Scholar Project City department
Access to nature Rachel Roy Feasibility of converting a Park Board field house into an outdoor school Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Access to nature,
Green operations
Lindsey Fryett How to effectively incorporate multiple Greenest City Action Plan strategies which increase connections to nature into the design of urban landscapes Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Clean water Mehdi Bagheri The relationship of chemical and physical parameters on the corrosion rate of cast iron water mains Engineering (Water)
Climate leadership Bethany Dobson Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services heavy vehicle fleet travel patterns and opportunities for efficiencies Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
Climate leadership Cassie Tesche Cool building research Sustainability
Climate leadership,
Green operations
Daniel Wood Viability of electric vehicles within the Vancouver Police Department fleet Vancouver Police Department
Climate leadership,
Lighter footprint
Eliana Chia Neighbourhood social resilience for climate-related extreme events and emergency management Sustainability, Mayor's Engaged City Task Force
Climate leadership,
Zero waste
Ryan Davis Anaerobic digestion facilities around the world, and determination of the enabling and encumbering factors for establishing such a facility in an urban setting in conjunction with an organic diversion program Engineering (Neighbourhood Energy)
Green buildings Dennis Fan Greening heritage buildings Planning
Green buildings,
Green operations
James Montgomery Energy benchmarking for buildings Facilities Management, Sustainability
Green economy Paul Save Mapping green innovation and technology demonstration opportunities for the False Creek Flats Vancouver Economic Commission
Green operations Christa Brown Enhancing the Vancouver Police Department's commitment to being the law enforcement leader in sustainability Vancouver Police Department
Green operations Rajesh Sachidanandan Improving infrastructure planning and project management practices to incorporate sustainability objectives Engineering
Green transportation Robert White Assessment of Vancouver’s wayfinding system and identification of opportunities for further development Engineering (Transportation)
Green transportation Glen Chua Rethinking parking in Vancouver to support a more sustainable and affordable city through a parking bylaw review Engineering (Transportation)
Green transportation Camille LeFrancois Supporting a Bike Mobility Centre Implementation Strategy for the City of Vancouver, including a potential pilot program using EasyPark assets Engineering (Transportation)
Local food Ashley Lowcock Improving access to community gardens as a source of healthy, fresh, and low-cost food Community Services (Social Policy)
Zero waste Angie Nicolas Capacity building to support more sustainable special events Film and Special Events

Scholar reports

Reports from this year’s scholars are available online in UBC Greenest City Scholars project library.

UBC partnering scholars with more organizations

The Greenest City Scholars Program continues to see great success, and UBC has expanded the model to other local partners such as BC Hydro, Musqueam First Nations and Fortis BC. Other civic organizations – like Metro Vancouver, North Vancouver, and the City of Edmonton – are considering using a similar model.

Learn more about the Greenest City Scholars Program

The Greenest City Scholars Program is open to UBC graduate students from all academic disciplines, and runs from early May to August each year.

Learn more about our sustainability project opportunities for students

Opportunities for students

We partner with local colleges and universities to help prepare the next generation of sustainability leaders. View opportunities available.

Learn more about our Greenest City initiative

Couple at dusk on False Creek Habitat Island in Vancouver

Greenest City Action Plan

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