People sketching ideas at a table

Solutions Lab

Finding new solutions to our most complex and urgent social, environmental, and economic challenges through innovation, experimentation, and learning.

Our Solutions Lab is a response to the increasing pressure that our city is facing to address many converging and complex challenges, such as equity, climate change, health, and well-being.

Modelled on other public sector innovation labs from around the world, the Solutions Lab was created to deliver high quality, cost-effective, and sophisticated responses to today’s challenges that go beyond typical government processes. 

Solutions Lab

By City of Vancouver

The lab creates an experimentation and learning oriented space that develops, tests, and implements social innovations to grow a healthy, green city.

  • The Solutions Lab works in collaborative and co-creative ways.

  • We use processes from design, social innovation, developmental evaluation, and other fields.

  • The lab cycles through research, testing, and prototyping ideas until promising solutions are found.

  • It draws on the experiences and perspectives of those most affected by a challenge.

  • Solutions labs include a multi-disciplinary and diverse team of City staff and key stakeholders.

Current projects

We are focusing on growing a healthy, green city in the following labs:

  • Healthy City Collaborative Leadership lab
  • Greenest City lab
  • Age Friendly Action Research lab

Age friendly lab

The landscape of policies, plans, strategies and programs that impact seniors and age-friendliness in Vancouver is vast.

The Social Policy department is taking an action research approach through a Solutions Lab to experiment and test new ways of integrating change into existing policy rather than continuing to produce more strategies.  

The convening question for the age-friendly, non-strategy lab is: How might we deliver a healthy city for all seniors, within the complete Healthy City framework, without creating another strategy?

The Co-initiating (4.8 MB) and Co-sensing (1.4 MB) stages of the process have already been completed and prototypes are being developed and tested by City staff and community partners. 

The Solutions Lab process is building on work on the Seniors portfolio that the City has supported over the years:

The 2019 Social Innovation Project grants will be focused on supporting initiatives to create an age-friendly city.

Learn more and apply for a Social Innovation Project Grant

Past work

Thanks to our funding partners