RCE British Colombia-2014

1. Project Title: 
EcoCity Youth
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Co-Design Group
Main Contact: 
Stanley King
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 


UN chartered Regional Centre for Expertise qualified The Institute for Environmental Learning led by Dr. David Zandvliet supported by the Vancouver Foundation. Susan Chung and Stanley King conducted a program that engaged youth and teachers at three schools in BC in a creative and positive approach to forecast futures of urban expansion:

1. Increased urban density. Forecasts project that cities will be twice as populous as now by mid-century.

2. Increased density threatens quality of life. Established communities fear change that brings increased traffic, and towers to replace low-rise buildings.

3. Destruction of nature by demands of burgeoning urban populations. Pressure on nature for land for development, resources of water, food, energy, recreation, and waste disposal already cause concern.

4. Dysfunctional community engagement. Tentative attempts to increase density arouse community rage against planners and Council.

5. Alienation of youth. Our research shows that changes to youth’s environments cause alienation - even small changes. Major changes over many years require youth to be equipped to participate constructively in the planning of their neighbourhoods. By playing a part in its improvement they regard it as theirs and mature to care for it as their own.

Youth engagement occurred at

• Ecole Pauline Johnson for the design of a natural playground of indigenous planting, in collaboration with landscape architects Cornelia Oberlander and Beryl Allen

• Norgate Elementary School in the design of their playgound to feature First Nations local mythology in collaboration with the community.

• Gladstone Secondary and Main Street Education Centre for the merging of these two schools into one building, in collaboration with the architects of Vancouver School Board Facilities Planning.

In Collaboration with Dr. David Zandvliet, teacher training occurred at:

• Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary School in February

• SFU Environmental Education Course for teachers at the Harbour Centre in May

• SFU Environmental Education Outdoor School on Haida Gwaii in August.

The program was based on the Youth Manual for Sustainable Design by Stanley King and Susan Chung. http://youthmanual.blogspot.com/

6. Project status
On Going
8. Tagging