This innovative summer internship program sponsors UBC graduate students to work on sustainability projects with the City of Vancouver. UBC graduate students are partnered with a city team and a mentor to investigate and implement a project identified under Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.
The UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) is proud to once again sponsor graduate students currently enrolled in Masters or PhD programs at UBC Vancouver to work with the City of Vancouver to advance Vancouver’s greenest city goals. The Greenest City Scholars Program is open to UBC graduate students from all academic disciplines and runs from early May to August 2013.
The USI provides funding to successful candidates to work with the City in support of the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Each Scholar receives $5,000 to complete 250 hours of work between May 1 and August 16.*
*Successful UBC MBA students can begin work in early June if they complete the required hours by the end of the program.
2013 Projects and Application Process
Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan identifies ten long-term goals, supported by a set of measurable and attainable targets, for Vancouver to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.
Each successful candidate will work on one research project within one of the goal areas listed below. A research project may comprise multiple tasks designed to contribute toward the attainment of that Greenest City Action Team’s long-term goal. The focus of this year’s Scholars Program is on the following goals and research questions. Click on the research question for full project description:
Goal#1: Secure Vancouver’s international reputation as a Mecca of green enterprise (2 projects)
- How can the Vancouver Economic Commission support recruitment of businesses into a Green Enterprise Zone?
- How can we use City run concession stands to advance local, sustainable food objectives in a financially viable way?
Goal#2: Climate Leadership (1 project)
Goal#4: Make walking, cycling and public transit preferred transportation options (2 projects)
- How does Metro Vancouver’s transit expansion compare with that of others cities around the world?
- What makes public spaces that are similar in size to 800 Robson Street, in cities with a climate like Vancouver’s, successful?
Goal#5: Create zero waste (2 projects)
- What are common items that get improperly sorted at event waste/recycling stations and why? How can we influence participant behavior to ensure waste is properly sorted at events?
- What is the current state of the re-use economy in Vancouver and what role can the City play to support it?
Goal#6: Vancouver residents enjoy incomparable access to green spaces, including the world’s most spectacular urban forest. (2 projects)
- How can the City landscaping increase habitat values in our parks and along our streets for urban songbirds and other wildlife?
- How can daylighting be integrated into the City’s plans for the restoration of Trout Lake waterway between Trout Lake and False Creek Flats?
Goal#8: Vancouver will have the best drinking water of any city in the world (1 project)
- How can we most effectively provide consumption information to industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) users to reduce their water consumption?
Goal#10: Vancouver will become a global leader in urban food systems (1 project)
- Where are the best opportunities to close the local food system loop in Vancouver’s community centres?
For more information on the goals and progress of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, see:
The successful candidate commits to:
- Attend an orientation day with the city at City Hall on May 1, 2013.
- Spend at least 50% of the total work time (250 hours) on-site at the City from May 1 – August 16, 2013.
- Develop a one-page description of the research tasks to be undertaken, including a list of objectives to be achieved and associated deliverables. This Research Agreement is developed in consultation with the successful candidates’ mentor from the City and is due to UBC on May 16, 2013.
- Complete the agreed upon deliverables within the program timeline (May 1 – August 16, 2013).
- Participate in a half-day workshop at UBC on the afternoon of September 23, 2013 at the completion of the program to reflect on the experiences learned and help prepare for the next incoming student cohort.
Successful candidates will be provided with a Student Orientation Package outlining further details of the program.
Applicants must provide the following:
- A statement of interest identifying which one of the eleven projects (see project links under the Greenest City 2020 goals above) you are interested in and how your background, skills and experience align with the group’s long term goals (maximum 300 words)
- Curriculum Vitae
Applications are due by 4 pm on March 4, 2013 and must be submitted by email to email@example.com.
Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March, 2013. Appointments will commence May 1, 2013.
Check out last year's project reports at the Greenest City Scholar Projects Library.