The School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at UBC was one of the first dedicated planning schools in Canada. Founded in 1951, we have over six decades of experience in graduate planning education and research. 

What you might expect/course format

While each course varies based on the subject and instructor, our VSP Packages feature:

  • Interactive in person lectures
  • Hands-on labs, fun and practical demonstrations
  • Team-based assignments
  • Fun social activities
  • Tours of industrial facilities (some programs)
  • Experience with industry standard software 

June 2024 Course Packages

Cities Experimenting with Sustainability Transformations

This course examine some of the key conceptual and practical aspects of sustainability transformations with emphasis on case studies from around the world. Cities across the world are facing unprecedented challenges in their transformation journeys as they reach for ambitious environmental targets. Managing cities requires skills and knowledge that extend beyond those of a single organization. Environmental transformations are often interconnected with complex economic, technical, political, and social issues. Urban experimentations and social innovation laboratories (labs) have become increasingly common worldwide to address these challenges collaboratively. Using the knowledge and skills acquired, the course explores the inner workings of these labs – Vancouver as a real-world laboratory. Introducing some common lab methods, this course will familiarize you with the skills and techniques applicable to uncover sustainability transformations.

Environmental Justice in Green City Planning

This course will critically engage with urban-greening initiatives in Vancouver through field visits to, for example, Pacific Spirit Park for a forest walk, to Olympic Village to assess green urbanism, and along the Arbutus Greenway to discuss sustainable transportation interventions. Thus, this course enriches content by grounding the conceptual frameworks we developed in real world examples that we will visit together and discuss as a class. Complimentary to field visits, students will gain experience with real world tools used to collaboratively design, develop, and evaluate sustainable projects. Using these tools, students will develop their own proposals for green city interventions that support environmental justice outcomes.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

For more information

For VSP SCARP-specific questions, email Karen Gill/Dolores Martin at

Student testimonials

“On the plane back home, I couldn’t help remembering the wonderful moments that I came across in the campus of UBC. I attended the summer program in the School of Community and Regional Planning. From kind and knowledgeable professors to diverse and cooperative students, from time-honour anthropology museum to elegant botanical gardens, from the GIS project in my laptop to the new perspective of Big Data in my mind, I told myself that it was a month worth more than a month time.”

– Kan Haoyu, VSP SCARP Student

“As an interdisciplinary program, community and regional planning offer me the chance to get to know people from different kinds of majors, including geography, politics, computer science and finance. We shared and discussed different perspectives with various knowledge backgrounds during our group project and after-class team activities. I think it is an invaluable opportunity to gain knowledge in other fields and cooperate with people from diverse knowledge background.”

– Yanjian, VSP SCARP Student