Let’s learn about the City!
Planners are always learning.
Whether you’re just starting Grade 1 or have recently graduated and are ready to take on the world, here are some assignments to connect everything you learned in school to the Vancouver Plan, making you an even better Young Planner!
We would love to see your work! As you go through the assignments, please email your work to email@example.com or share it with the world using the hashtag #YoungPlannersVancouver.
Stuck on an assignment and need help? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-786-2078 anytime.
Reading, Writing & Interviews.
You might not know it yet, but your city is filled with stories and ideas: from the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples who have lived on these lands since time immemorial, to early city builders who developed some of Vancouver’s most beloved amenities like Stanley Park, or the Sea Wall (and the unintended impacts their creation had on a number of communities), to settlers who have come from far and wide and made Vancouver home.
The three activities below ask you to research the events and peoples that have shaped Vancouver, and learn a bit more about how your family and friends are connected to these lands.
A Brief History of ... (something about Vancouver)
Write a research paper, or film a short scripted video (see if you can get your family to help!), or create something else (a website perhaps?). Think about the places you love in Vancouver, or those who have been on these lands since time-immemorial, or the events that have shaped the evolution of our city (check out our video, for ideas if you are stuck).
Remember when we learned that everything in the City is a choice? What choices went into your favourite places? What choices happened after big events? And has everyone always been able to share their voice and contribute to the City?
As we look to the future, it’s important to understand the people and events that shaped the City and the unintended consequences that occurred along the way so that we can make sure the Vancouver Plan allows everyone to thrive.
Our Stories (of these Lands)
We all have a story of our connection to Vancouver, whether we’ve been here since time immemorial, or are a recent new-comer to the city. For this activity interview someone you know (a grandparent, friend or even teacher) about their story of Vancouver. Turn the interview into a report, video or even a podcast.
Some questions to start: What’s your first memory of Vancouver? What neighbourhood did you live in first? Was it hard to make friends? Where did you hang out and are those places still around?
While you’re preparing your final report (transcript, or poster, or podcast or video) think about how their connection to Vancouver relates to yours: Have you had similar experiences? What is different about the City now? Try to include some reflections on their experience compares to yours.
Zines (short, hand drawn comics) can be made about anything. Your VanZine can be about anything: An illustrated history of Vancouver Mayors with Mustaches or a guide to Vancouver birds or even the city’s budget!
Zines can also be personal, like your favourite Vancouver burger (Rest In Peace Wally’s!), the trees on your street or the city’s best bubble tea!
There are a lot of resources that can help with your zine: Check out this guide from Outlet in Portland on how to make a one-page zine and let the drawing, writing and research begin!
Draw, Design and Build.
Making maps, models, drawings and design are really important parts of planning: as young planners you’ll get a chance to give us visual feedback as the process moves along!
The three activities below will let you start thinking about Vancouver in a visual way and bring your ideas about the city to life:
My Vancouver Mural
People have used murals to tell the stories of cities for hundreds of years. These public art pieces have told of social movements, and honoured important city figures in places like Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York. Our Vancouver Mural Festival supports new murals in Vancouver. This year their festival runs August 18 – September 7 and features new murals, neighbourhood walks and more. Check out their map, see if there are new murals near you and plan a safe “field trip” before starting work on your own mural at home.
Your mural can be about anything: a historic event, important historical figures, or city symbols (sport teams or Canuck the Crow). Take some time to research mural styles and artists to get ideas: realistic or abstract? With a scale or more free-form? While murals are typically done on exterior walls you can use any kind or size of paper for yours! Share your finished mural with the world: on a front window, a door or an apartment hallway, or put it on social media and tag #YoungPlannersVancouver
Make a Model
Models can do a lot of things: show what projects will look like when they are added to a site, re-imagine how neighbourhoods could look in the future and show new ways of looking at places that already exist.
They are typically made-to-scale miniatures that use materials like wood, paper and cardboard (for examples check out Vancouver’s own Superior Models). Build your model out of whatever materials you have around the house (extra toilet paper rolls anyone?) and challenge yourself to make your own scale. It can be your favourite building or public art piece. If it’s safe, take a “field trip” to sketch your subject in the wild (or use Google Maps if you can’t get there safely).
If nothing in Vancouver inspires you, design your own building and make a model of it! Send us pics of your model (or maybe make a video!) or share it with the hashtag #YoungPlannersVancouver
StoryMaps with ArcGIS
Maps are just one of the things that Planners use to share information about cities. Maps can show where different things are in the City and you can also use them to tell stories about your neighbourhood.
ArcGIS has a free program for making story maps! Learn how to use their software and tell a story about where you live in Vancouver. Make a story map of your block, Trees in the neighbourhood or your favourite park or Vancouver activity. Sign up for a free account and start making!
If you want a break from the computer, draw your maps by hand! Check out the Hand Drawn Map Association for examples and even prompts to help you as you make your own! Send us your maps or share them at #YoungPlannersVancouver.