Dec 14, 2020

Vancouver, BC – Four Langara College students took first place at CityStudio HUBBUB 15, an event showcasing 18 innovative student projects that address local urban environmental topics. The group members - Shaia Brites, Patt Schavarosk, Ruedi Mani, and Preet Bahia – were tasked with finding simple solutions to combat ocean acidification. Their winning communication project, Community Kelp, aims to interpret the positive economic and ecological effects that kelp aquaculture has locally.

Students from SFU, UBC, BCIT, and Langara worked with City of Vancouver staff over the fall semester on projects in partnerships through CityStudio. Eighteen innovative projects were selected to present at their semi-annual project showcase, HUBBUB 15. The showcase celebrated 808 students, 28 faculty and 22 City of Vancouver staff who co-created projects addressing key priorities and strategies in the city.

“Community Kelp did a fantastic job and came up with a truly innovative idea to combat ocean acidification that was unlike any other project presented at HUBBUB 15 this year,” said Jennifer Weldon, Langara Environmental Studies instructor and the group’s mentor. “Their outreach work was particularly strong, making connections with others involved in working on ocean acidification and kelp cultivation, and they received a lot of support from the community.”

A team from the SFU Semester in Dialogue took second place, while students in UBC’s Masters in Education for Sustainability took third place.

Two other teams from Langara also competed. Students in Environmental Studies 2100 offered Seeing Green, an app for engaging Vancouver citizens through green infrastructure education and awareness. Integrated marketing communications students designed Shield your Community to build brand awareness for Garage 529, a bike recovery service that equips users with tools to aid in bike recovery and prevent theft.

Community Kelp intends to develop a kelp garden exposition in Vancouver that locals can observe and maintain throughout the growing season which lasts from fall until spring. This garden will spark community engagement and bring to light the issue of OA and the prospect of developing more kelp gardens and farms throughout BC’s coast. Kelp has a long history of cultivation in Indigenous societies in Vancouver. By partnering with Indigenous communities, the project hopes to integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge along with current scientific knowledge to combat the crisis of OA.

A community kelp garden coincides with current City of Vancouver strategies. It will play a part in the research currently being conducted in Vancouver by the Ocean Acidification Alliance. It will add another restorative space to go along with the development of the Northeast False Creek Plan, contributing to local access to nature as a part of the Greenest City Action Plan (goal 5) and it will sequester carbon (goal 1). By coinciding with these strategies, the project intends to spark education and creativity regarding the combating of OA and re-integration of kelp on our coast. Because kelp filters water gardening is aligned with the Rain City Strategy’s ambitious goal of cleaning 90% of Vancouver’s water by 2022.

About CityStudio
CityStudio Vancouver is an innovation hub that brings together city staff, students, faculty and community to co-create experimental projects that make Vancouver more sustainable, liveable, joyful, and inclusive. It was co-founded in 2011 by Dr. Janet Moore and Duane Elverum to accelerate sustainability in higher education and provide students with direct opportunities to work in and with the city on urban challenges. Born in response to Vancouver’s plan to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, CityStudio was created with the support of founding partners, Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the City of Vancouver. Since then it has grown into a collaboration between the City of Vancouver, SFU, University of British Columbia (UBC), Langara College, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and the Native Education College (NEC).

About Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as 'house of teachings', a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more.
Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs
Langara College

Katie McDonald
Communications & Engagement Coordinator
CityStudio Vancouver