Greenest City Scholars Program

This innovative summer internship program sponsors UBC graduate students to work on sustainability projects with the City of Vancouver. 


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 2014.

The program 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.

2014 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 project within one of the goal areas listed below. A 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 projects. Click on the project title for full project description.

Goal: Green Economy.  Secure Vancouver’s international reputation as a Mecca of green enterprise.

1. Mapping green innovation and technology demonstration opportunities for False Creek Flats.

Goal: Climate Leadership.  Eliminate Vancouver's dependence on fossil fuels.

2. Analyzing VFRS heavy vehicle fleet travel patterns and identifying opportunities for efficiences.

3. Building neighbourhood social resilience for climate-related extreme events and emergency management.

4. Examining the current state of anaerobic digestion facilities, evaluating establishment of such a facility in an urban setting in conjunction with an organic diversion program.

Goal: Green Buildings.  Lead the world in green building design and construction.

5. Greening a heritage building: case study.

Goal: Green Transportation.  Make walking, cycling and public transit preferred transportation options. 

6. Assessment of a new wayfinding system and identification of opportunities for further development.

7. Parking By-law review: Rethinking parking in Vancouver to support a more sustainable and affordable city.

8. Supporting a Bike Mobility Centre implementation strategy for the City of Vancouver, including a potential pilot program using Easy Park assets.

Goal: Zero Waste. Create zero waste. 

9. Building capacity to support more sustainable special events.

10. Property and forensic storage services: Enhancing Vancouver Police Department commitment to being the law enforcement leader in sustainability.

11. Viability of electric vehicles within the Vancouver Police Department fleet.

Goal: Access to Nature. Vancouver residents enjoy incomparable access to green spaces, including the world’s most spectacular urban forest. 

12. How can multiple Greenest City Action Plan strategies be incorporated to increase connections to nature in the city within the design of characteristic urban landscapes?

13. Feasibility of converting a Park Board fieldhouse into an outdoor school.

Goal: Clean Water. Vancouver will have the best drinking water of any city in the world 

14. Studying the relationship of chemical and physical parameters on the corrosion rate of cast iron water mains.

Goal: Vancouver will become a global leader in urban food systems 

15. More than vibrant green spaces: Improving access to community gardens as a source of healthy, fresh, and low-cost food for under-represented residents.

For more information on the goals and progress of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, see:



Program Information

The successful candidate commits to:

  • Attend an orientation day with the city at City Hall in May 2014.
  • Spend at least 50% of the total work time (250 hours) on-site at the City from May 1 – August 16, 2014.
  • Develop a one-page description of the tasks to be undertaken, including a list of objectives to be achieved and associated deliverables. This Agreement is developed in consultation with the successful candidates’ mentor from the City and is due to UBC on May 16, 2014.
  • Complete the agreed upon deliverables within the program timeline (May 1 – August 16, 2014).
  • Participate in a half-day workshop at UBC 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.

 Application Procedure: DEADLINE EXTENDED: Applications are due by 4:30pm, Thursday March 6 2014

Applicants must provide the following:

  • Create a resume and a one-page statement of interest, saved together in one PDF file in the format [Project number_Last name_First name.pdf], for example 5_Smith_Jenny.pdf
  • The statement of interest should identify which one of the fifteen 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)
  • Applications must be submitted by Thursday, March 6 at 4:30pm

Once you are ready, you can apply here.

Questions?  Please email, with Greenest City Scholars in the subject line. 


Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March, 2014.  Appointments will commence May 1, 2014.


Check out previous project reports at the Greenest City Scholar Projects Library.