City Shapers is a cohort-based civic education program for young adults between 18 and 30 from across Metro Vancouver to learn about civic engagement and how cities work. City Shapers aims to strengthen our commitment to Canadian democracy by developing young adults' sense of agency at the local level and increasing their understanding of how government works so that they may become more active in their communities and throughout government decision-making processes.
The program is a partnership between the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue's Strengthening Canadian Democracy initiative and CityHive, with support from the Vancouver Foundation.
City Shapers will:
Build knowledge about how decisions are made at the local level and how citizens can get involved in key urban issues, covering both informal and formal means of civic engagement.
Increase competencies for democratic and community participation; develop confidence interacting with actors involved in local decision-making
Explore the importance of being civically engaged
Strengthen social resilience through social connections; build networks between young people, decision-makers, community leaders, and organizations
Throughout the Fall of 2019 and the Spring of 2020, City Shapers is running three cohorts exploring civic engagement, each through the lens of a different theme:
Winter 2020: Public spaces
Spring 2020: Civic engagement
In partnership with City Hive and the Cente for Dialogue, an evaluation tool is included within the design of each cohort. The evaluation is designed to help inform what young adults believe is needed for effective civic education, as well as look at what impact the program has on people's opinions of democracy and their own role in making a difference in the world around them. Data gathered from the cohorts will help City Shapers, City Hive, and The Centre for Dialogue continue to create effective programming that addresses civic engagement in young people.
To learn more about the City Shapers program, previous cohort projects, or to apply for an upcoming cohort, visit the City Hive website.