Community Engagement

Want to learn more about the work Geographers do?

Public Education

We offer public outreach and environmental education programming to BC high school and elementary students, First Nations communities, and the general public.  By sharing our classrooms, laboratories and expertise, we hope to demonstrate SFU's commitment to advance environmental literacy and inspire the next generation of geographers.   


Community-Based Research & Engagement

Many of our faculty are also actively involved in research aimed at better understanding and improving conditions in our surrounding communities. The following projects provide a lens into how research in Geography is applied within a community setting.

Worldwide EcoUrbanism Research Project

As part of the EcoUrbanism Worldwide research projectGeography 449 students have been involved in piloting a new place observation tool in one of Vancouver's "greenest" neighbourhoods, the Village at Southeast False Creek. 

The visual imagery and qualitative data collected with the place observation tool can be used to create benchmarks for the comparative analysis of different planned neighbourhoods, within different national contexts, that have been planned and designed with sustainability goals.

Learn more

The EcoUrbanism research project is investigating what is happening to urbanism on the ground in model sustainable neighbourhoods. Beginning with a pilot (2010-2012) that compared model redevelopment projects at Melbourne's Docklands and Vancouver's Village at Southeast False Creek, EcoUrbanism (2014-2019) built insight from researchers and theorists, policy makers, architects and city-builders globally toward a compendium of ecourban projects, and a set of pioneering case studies. The project has now been transformed into the Ecourban Research Network of international researchers and practitioners seeking to challenge ideas about city building and create more sustainable cities.

Food as Harm Reduction (FaHR)

As part of this project researchers examined how access to food can reduce the harms associated with illicit drug use.  Specific goals of the project were to:

  • determine how and when access to food (or lack thereof) impacts the health and well-being of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who use drugs (PWUD)
  • document how PLWHA who use drugs navigate their environment in order to access food and harm reduction resources; and
  • highlight the importance of safe and supportive food sites as a means of reducing the nutritional harms of drug use.

Landscapes of Injustice Project

In 1942 the Canadian government uprooted over 21,000 people of Japanese ancestry from coastal British Columbia and began the forced sale of Japanese Canadian property.

These actions resulted in the eradication of Japanese Canadian enclaves throughout British Columbia, transformed individual lives and the broader landscapes of Canadian life.

Former property owners and their descendants still feel the shock of the forced sales, the destruction of their neighbourhoods, and the betrayal of the promise that the Canadian government would “protect and preserve” their land and possessions. Canadians are heirs of landscapes of injustice.

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A collaborative, multi-partner project, this seven year, SSHRC funded initiative, is designed to document, explain and analyze this poorly researched moment in Canadian history. SFU is a crucial partner, and several Geography students - both graduate and undergraduate - are working with Nick Blomley and other faculty on archival research relating to land titles, community records, and historical GIS.

Further information can be found at

(Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront

Learn about the history of New Westminster's urban waterfront in this informative video.

The Coquitlam Farmer's Market

One of the longest running farmers markets in the Lower Mainland, the Coquitlam Farmers Market was started in 1997 by four SFU students. Terri Evans (a current PhD student within the Department), one of the market's co-founders, shares her story of creating the market for a class project and speaks about her long-standing connection to SFU.

Watch the video