Urban Design Courses in Vancouver

Carol and Jay Hamlin, SFU's Urban Design Certificate graduates.

Change your community for the better

Meet Carol and Jay Hamlin, based in Bellevue, WA, who are working to make their city "friendlier" through welcoming public space after finishing Simon Fraser University's Urban Design Certificate program.


Read their story

Simon Fraser University’s Urban Design Certificate—a unique program in North America—provides planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, policy makers and others with opportunities to acquire new skills that will help them change their communities for the better.

The program takes place in Vancouver, which is a great setting for learning about urban design. The city offers examples from half a century of experimentation in high-density residential development, public spaces, and community building. We explore urban design principles that are relevant to large, mid-sized, and smaller communities.

We’d like to share these learning opportunities with our cross-border neighbors. We invite you to join your Canadian colleagues, who have diverse career backgrounds, for an exchange of ideas—cross-pollination—that will expand our knowledge of urban design.

Program details

The intensive two-day format of our urban design program, which takes place in a convenient downtown Vancouver location, is ideal for busy mid-career professionals. Associations including the Planning Institute of B.C., the Architectural Institute of B.C., and the B.C. Society of Landscape Architects endorse the program.

Come to Vancouver and discover our urban design lab for yourself. Take the following courses individually or as part of the Urban Design Certificate:

See complete course listings


Photo by Kenny-Louie

What our participants say

"I think the urban design certificate is a great program. I learned a great deal from the instructors as well as my Canadian colleagues.

"The opportunity to learn, practice and share with fellow professionals who may be coming from a different work perspective has helped to broaden my understanding."
Phil Harris, senior planner, Transportation Department, Bellevue, WA

"The courses in the urban design program provided me with a wonderful introduction to the important principles that can improve a city’s appearance and function. The instructors provide a nurturing and constructive environment, which was extremely helpful as I had limited studio time in my previous studies.

"It was a great experience to work and collaborate on studio projects alongside my Canadian colleagues."
—Matthew Herrera, Associate Planner, City of Federal Way

"I really enjoyed the program; it was a great way to revive my creativity, and I really enjoyed meeting all of the different professionals and doing the group studio projects."
—Sarah Ruether, transportation/environmental planner, City of Woodinville, WA

"My experience with the courses has been compelling and immediately relevant to my work. The instructors are consistently of high quality, and Vancouver is a fantastic laboratory for the study of urban design."
—George Adams, urban design manager, City of Austin, TX