The Scholars Project Library contents hundreds of reports, charts, tool-kits, and more, documenting the applied research produced since 2011. A useful body of knowledge to support further research around sustainability.

This study explores how BC's climate policy, particularly the Carbon Neutral Government mandate for public-sector organizations, has influenced climate action at BC universities. A literature review and interviews with employees from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions partner universities, the City of Vancouver, and the Climate Action Secretariat suggest the mandate no longer drives emissions reductions. This study proposes recommendations for the province to accelerate climate action.

Partner: PICS
Funder: UBC
Keywords: leadership & behaviour change, sustainable development & green economy  

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2023
Grace Schaan

Beginning with how Western philosophies of land management and agriculture as a tool of colonization have led to our current colonial food systems, Indigenous food sovereignty is suggested as a framework to support the transformation of Vancouver's food system towards a just model for all. New urban agriculture policy should be co-created with local Indigenous partners and include Indigenous values while centring justice at each step.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: biodiversity, food systems, social sustainability  

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2023
Grace McCloskey

The Bert Brink Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is one of few remaining undiked floodplain habitats on the Lower Fraser River. Using visualizations this project aims to communicate the importance of floodplain habitat; support Rivershed Society's goal of connecting a movement to protect 30% and to restore 2.4% of the Fraser watershed; communicate the restoration plans for the Bert Brink WMA; and foster a community of support for the restoration of the Bert Brink WMA.  

Partner: Rivershed Society of BC
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, invasive species

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2023
Frances Ramsay

This project examines the possibilities for visualizations of flood mitigation interventions in proactive flood management for mainland Coast Salish communities along the Lower Fraser River. Through direct collaboration and site visits, visualizations were created for each community that reflect their unique flood-related risk situations and address the specific functional requirements for the visualizations of each location. Possible co-benefits of interventions were explored where applicable.

Partner: Emergency Planning Secretariat
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: ecological systems, flood mitigation, traditional ecological knowledge 

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2023
Connor Budd

This project aims to identify some of the gaps facing First Nations in accessing equitable, reliable, safe, affordable, and low-carbon transportation in BC, with a particular focus on remote communities. It offers recommendations and opportunities for government to close these gaps in relation to low-carbon transportation programs and initiatives. This research contributes to BC Assembly of First Nation's (BCAFN) three-year First Nations Low-Carbon Transportation Project.

Partner: BC Assembly of First Nations
Funder: UBC
Keywords: transportation, Indigenous reconciliation, climate justice 

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2023
Charlotte Bull

While the operational transit benefits of bus bulbs are well understood, there remains a limited understanding of how passengers interact with the additional space and bus stop amenities provided to them. To bridge this knowledge gap, this research involved in-person passenger observations and surveys at four bus bulb locations across. The findings and recommendations will help the City of Vancouver target specific bus bulbs to focus design improvements and create permanent sidewalk extensions.  

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: climate mitigation, green infrastructure, healthy city, transportation, bus transit

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2023
Caroline Dunaux

This project aims to equip building owners in Burnaby with an accessible retrofit toolkit, primarily focused on strategies to mitigate the effects of extreme heat events. The toolkit has been developed through a combination of research into current best practices and interviews with various professionals. This toolkit provides building owners with a range of retrofitting activities, with a focus on quick wins, to mitigate overheating and improve the performance and resilience of their buildings.

Partner: City of Burnaby
Funder: City of Burnaby
Keywords: green buildings, sustainable development & green economy, climate action

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2023
Oluwasina Agunbiade

This project aims to develop and prototype a framework to evaluate justice and equity in climate policies at the City of Vancouver, including an exploration of participatory and collaborative methodologies. The prototype framework--developed via design thinking and an iterative approach--was delivered for internal use only. This executive summary includes key takeaways and recommendations to the City regarding best practices for equity evaluation in local government.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver
Keywords: climate action, diversity, inclusion, healthy city, justice & equity, evaluation, climate justice

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2023
Alida Oegema Thomas

This project explores the City of North Vancouver's building inventory and retrofit strategies, aiming to streamline their emissions reduction and fortify climate resilience. The focus is on bridging gaps in building stock analysis by classifying major structures by use and size, refreshing the multi-family building database, and investigating retrofit practices from foremost municipalities in Canada. The insights garnered will guide the City's strategy for retrofitting its prominent structures.

Partner: City of North Vancouver
Funder: BC Hydro
Keywords: green buildings 

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2023
Amir Kari

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the current landscape of electric vehicle (EV) charging retrofits in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) to identify the major barriers to successful retrofit support programs. These barriers were then contextualized to the City of New Westminster and a set of recommendations were developed to inform and guide city staff as they develop an EV charger retrofit strategy for MURBs.  

Partner: City of New Westminster
Funder: BC Hydro
Keywords: sustainable development & green economy, transportation, electric vehicles

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2023
Drew Seguin

The objective of this project is to conduct research and summarize opportunities for local governments to promote food-growing in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs). The project utilizes a literature review, policy scans, and interviews with communities and governments to identify successes, challenges, and suggestions for food cultivation initiatives. Includes recommendations for the Township of Langley to enhance food security and address the climate crisis through the implementation and practice of residential food cultivation

Partner: Township of Langley
Funder: Township of Langley
Keywords: food systems, green buildings, social sustainability 

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2023
Muh Syukron

This project aims to improve the health of existing and new street trees in hardscape infrastructure in Vancouver through evaluation of research and best practices, comparison of peer municipal practices and case studies, and analysis of current city trends. Recommendations are provided for Vancouver's existing design and management standards and specifications for below and at-ground practices for existing street trees, newly planted street trees, and current sidewalk and boulevard design.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: climate adaptation, green infrastructure, climate resilience, urban forests

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2023
Elliot Bellis

The project aimed to enhance biodiversity conservation messaging in the Fraser Estuary, effectively communicating conservation efforts amidst ongoing biodiversity threats. Its objective is to raise awareness, shape attitudes, and prompt action toward biodiversity conservation in the region. The project outlined a six-step approach to crafting and delivering tailored conservation messages, emphasizing credibility, framing, storytelling, visuals, connections, and co-benefits for diverse audiences.

Partner: Garden City Conservation Society
Funder: UBC (Bullitt Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, leadership & behaviour change 

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2023
Qingyang Li

This report examines the relationship between farming practices and shorebird conservation on the Fraser River Delta and globally. It includes a description of shorebird ecology, an outline of the state of shorebird habitat and agricultural land use on the FRD, and an analysis of current research on shorebird conservation. It concludes with research-based recommendations for farming practices to improve habitat for resident and migratory shorebirds on the Fraser River Delta.

Partner: Bird Studies Canada
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, food systems 

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2023
Vincent Steinfeld

Energy upgrades and retrofits have been identified as key measures to reduce energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building sector in Canada. This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness and environmental impacts of energy-efficient new build construction on the Musqueam Indian Reserve. The findings can help the indigenous community select economical building energy upgrade measures to reduce building energy use and associated GHG emissions.

Partner: Musqueam Indian Band
Funder: BC Hydro
Keywords: green buildings, sustainable development & green economy 

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2023
Haonan Zhang

Southern Resident killer whales are an endangered population of orcas living in the coastal waters of southern British Columbia and Washington state. With only 74 individuals remaining, timely and meaningful action to protect this population is of critical importance. This report identifies the limitations of the Species at Risk Act and argues for expanding Southern Resident killer whale critical habitat into the Fraser River watershed to include Chinook salmon tributaries.

Partner: Raincoast Conservation
Foundation Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, endangered species

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2023
Dane Pedersen

This report provides recommendations to the City of Vancouver for an envisioned Green Roof Asset Tracker tool and program that would allow the City to quantify and qualify the benefits of green roofs in Vancouver across diverse categories, including stormwater management, biodiversity support, and climate change mitigation. Recommendations for program operational requirements and features of a public-facing green roof map are made based on a mixed-methods approach involving case studies.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: green infrastructure, land use planning, climate resilience, green buildings, sustainable development & green economy, water 

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2023
Emily Edwards

This project reviews passive solutions for addressing overheating and potential barriers for cooling retrofits. Existing multi-family buildings contribute significantly to emissions and exacerbate the impact of extreme weather. To meet 2030 climate goals, prompt retrofitting is vital. The study evaluated options such as behavior change, natural ventilation, green roofs, white roofs, green walls, exterior shading, and window treatments based on effectiveness, ease of retrofit, and cost.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: climate action, low carbon buildings, climate resilience, biodiversity, green buildings 

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2023
Atiyeh Baratloo

The Museum of Vancouver leads the Sustainable Arts and Green Ecosystems Project (SAGE). SAGE is a partnership of museums, galleries and theatres collaborating on development of tools to advance sustainability and circular design, construction and de-construction of staged events and exhibitions. This project assesses the sustainability of materials commonly used in staged events: wood paneling, lumber, and paints. These findings will contribute to the SAGE Exhibition Planning and Design Toolkit.

Partner: Museum of Vancouver
Funder: UBC  
Keywords: green buildings, waste management & recycling 

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2023
Arash Khodadad

This project provides recommendations to develop a zero emissions municipal buildings policy for the City of Port Moody through the study and research of similar policies from other municipalities and reports by other public organizations. The project suggests carbon balance calculation as the key framework of the policy, including operational, embodied, construction and avoided carbon emissions in an attempt to record emissions from the whole building life cycle of the municipal buildings.  

Partner: City of Port Moody
Funder: BC Hydro  
Keywords: green buildings, municipal buildings, zero carbon 

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2023
Ying Kuk Sonia Tsang

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