Time-tested and locally adaptable to help municipalities and academic institutions collaborate and grow in new ways.

Annual Cycle
CityStudios work on an annual cycle that include the following key steps:
Convene Municipal Staff
Identify and develop project concepts that further the municipality’s strategic aims.
Match Projects with Schools
Match these projects with courses at our partner schools, ensuring a strong fit between municipal needs and faculty expertise.
Design Projects Together
As part of their coursework, students work together with municipal staff to co-create pilot projects for the benefit of community.
Launch Projects in Public
Final projects are launched by students as experiments and pilot projects in the community to test what works.
Share and Scale Projects
The results are presented at HUBBUB, a celebratory showcase where students, Municipal staff, citizens, and elected officials connect to make these solutions permanent.
CityStudio Projects
Projects are the cornerstones of the CityStudio approach. Projects are co-created, designed, and implemented by teams of students, municipal staff, and community members.
Western University students in Social Science in the Community and Performance Beyond Theatres collaborated to develop research and tools to address four forms of discrimination in London: racism, xenophobia, physical ableism, and sanims. This project was in response to London’s Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, with a focus on Priority 2: Have zero tolerance for oppression, discrimination, and ignorance. In Summer 2020, following the completion of the first iteration of this project and in response to ongoing activism against anti-black racism, CityStudio London hosted an Anti-Racism roundtable co-created and led by the students, City staff, and faculty who participated in this project. through initiatives like the CDIS, and students shared their research findings and strategies.
The 2019 Food for Change project was developed in response to COGB’s higher than average rates of food insecurity and obesity, which is a major contributor to Australia’s disease burden. With a changing climate potentially affecting local food production, including which foods can be grown locally, the project aimed to address issues facing Greater Bendigo’s local food system - food security, food production and local food distribution, food waste, and healthy eating habits.
This youth outreach design complements the Vancouver Plan by facilitating civic literacy and engagement. The event invites Vancouver youth to transcend barriers to political barriers to political participation, including age-based exclusion and other compounding inequalities. The scalable, adaptable activities introduce the deliberative process through repurposed elements of City Hall structure, such that participants become equipped to contribute towards and inclusive, equitable future.
Academic Institutions & Municipalities
Inspire Action
Municipal Staff + Students + Communities
Launch Experimental Projects
Municipal Staff + Faculty + Students
Build Trust Relationships
Academic Institutions
Theory of Change
Our Theory of Change revolves around strong, open, trusting relationships among stakeholders.
Through collaborative city building we will foster the next generation of leaders and change-makers that inspire action in the community and government. We also aim to shift culture at City Hall and normalize civic action as a key element of higher education.

Our Theory of Change drives how we achieve this, beginning by building trust-based relationships and connecting city staff with students, faculty and community members to tackle the city’s challenges. Together, we co-create innovative solutions and launch experimental projects on the ground that advance key City goals and plans.
Start A Studio FAQs

This can take from a few months to up to a year or more depending on your readiness. Steps 1 and 2 of our 5-Step process (from interest to licence) tend to take about a year, but it depends on how established the relationships and collaborations are between the municipality and the academic institution. The launch record is four months. Once we understand your readiness we can provide a realistic timeline for you.

Once you’ve received your membership and licence, you can immediately begin hiring for your CityStudio Projects Coordinator. Training and onboarding of the Projects Coordinator will take up to a few months. From there, you can begin sourcing project ideas from the municipal staff and connecting with relevant academic stakeholders. We offer a suggested Annual Cycle to provide more guidance on this.

There are two costs: Set up costs and Ongoing Costs. Set up includes your subscription fees, licence, and training. Ongoing costs include staffing, space, and operations (including office costs, event costs, and marketing and communications).

In terms of the subscription fees, we have a tiered structure to make our offering accessible to variously-sized municipalities and schools. Please get in touch with us to learn more about how we do this.

A new CityStudio can be funded in a variety of ways. The key principle is that it is a collaborative funding model with a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from all of the key partners, including the municipality, the school(s), and potentially additional community partners, such as non-profit organizations. We suggest that when starting out, you secure financial commitments to last you the first 3 years, so that you’re able to adequately build your CityStudio.

Once you and your partners are ready and have signed the subscription agreements, we will provide you with the following: Bespoke coaching to help you get set up; Training and certification for your CityStudio Projects Coordinator; the Brand package with your new CityStudio logo; a suite of templates to help you get set up quickly; your login to the CityStudio Network member-only online community; and assistance with building and amplifying your launch announcement.

Our agreements are five years in length, and renewable thereafter.

Yes, inclusiveness is a core principle of the model. You are more than welcome to include any/all of the academic institutions within your area.

Yes, there are ways to do this and we have examples within our network. Please reach out to discuss the details of your context.

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