On this page
Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find research material for this topic. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.
Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place.
Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.
Books, Ebooks, Films, Music, Sound, Slides
Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Surrey - SFU Surrey).
- Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start - some suggestions are "urban ecology" or "urban wilderness". Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
- The main SUBJECT heading for information about Vancouver is:
- Note the list of SUBHEADINGS for more specific aspects of the city.
- Vancouver (B.C.)
- Try the following SUBJECT headings for general topics related to urban ecology and use the SUBHEADING British Columbia Vancouver to focus on this area:
- City and Town Life
- City Planning - Environmental Aspects
- Community Development, Urban
- Human Ecology
- Public Spaces
- Restoration Ecology
- Sustainable Architecture
- Sustainable Development
- Urban Agriculture
- Urban Ecology Sociology
- Urban Renewal
- If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it!
- For a step-by-step interactive guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.
Journal and Newspaper Articles
- All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue. Try journals that have the tags: environment and society and urban studies.
- Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request photocopies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic
Suggested article databases for Wilding Vancouver:
- Academic Search Premier - multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
- Alternative Press Index - alternative and radical media.
- Canadian Newsstream - fulltext of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
- Canadian Public Policy Collection - monograph publications from policy and research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres.
- Canadian Research Index - Canadian government publications.
- CBCA Complete (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) - covers news, business, and academic sources with a Canadian focus.
- KnowBC - Interactive version of the encyclopedia about BC.
ENVIROnetBASE - e-books in the Environmental Sciences
Environment Complete - database with a particular focus on environmental issues
- Geobase - key human and physical geography database with interdisciplinary coverage of urban topics.
- Sociological Abstracts - sociological aspects of community development and urban studies; includes cited references.
- Web of Science - citation index - particularly useful for finding out who else cited an article that you have found relevant.
- Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database. For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
- For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.
Statistics and Government Sources
- BC Stats Publications - After you connect, click the "Agree" button to enter the site. The A-Z index (located on the upper left corner) provides access to BC Statistics by subject. Go to the "area profiles" to see information on regions, including Vancouver.
- City of Vancouver - provides information and links to city projects and initiatives, including the Greenest City 2020 initiative and neighbourhood and community garden walking tours, which can be found by searching the News, Calendar.
- City of Vancouver Areas of the City - information about Vancouver's local neighbourhoods, including profiles, partnership programs, projects and community events.
- City of Vancouver Open Data Catalogue - catalogue of freely available city data.
- Environment Canada - Federal Ministry of Environment; check the Nature and Sustainable development pages.
- Government of British Columbia (B.C. Government) - access point to all Government of British Columbia organizations and services including the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
- Metro Vancouver - provides regional planning and services for the Greater Vancouver area.
- Statistics Canada: Statistics by Subject - The main source for Canadian statistical information, including statistics on the environment. Check the Community Profiles for city and community-level statistics.
Selected Internet Sources
In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or Ask.com to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's World Wide Web Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.
- Center for Research in Urban Ecology - University of Illinois at Chicago research center with projects and resources related to urban ecology.
- Institute of Urban Ecology - based at Douglas College, the institute lists resources on urban ecological sustainability.
- Nature in the City - project based in San Francisco dedicated to ecological conservation, restoration and stewardship.
- NewCity Institute - promotes best practices research and implementation focused on cities, sustainability and citizen participation, and includes links to local projects.
- Project for Public Spaces - nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people and communities create and sustain public spaces.
- SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development - teaching and research unit that aims to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives in community development.
- Society of Ecological Restoration International - non-profit organization engaged in repair and management of ecosystems.
- Sustainable Communities Online - links citizens to resources and to one another to create sustainable communities.
- Biking around Vancouver: City of Vancouver bike routes map; Translink biking maps.
- Car free Vancouver Day - it's all in the title.
- CityFarmBoy - promotes urban agriculture, farming and gardening as a viable and environmentally positive way to enhance landscapes and lifestyles.
- EcoUrbia - portal for initiatives/programs organized by sustainability-driven organizations in the Vancouver area.
- Edible Garden Project - information and volunteering opportunities for people interested in growing vegetables in their gardens.
- Greening the Inner City - a network of local businesses and organizations that support sustainability.
- Heritage Vancouver - a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of Vancouver's built, cultural and natural heritage.
- Smart Growth BC - non-governmental organization devoted to fiscally, socially and environmentally responsible land use and development.
- The Urban Treefrog - living Green in the concrete jungle.
- Think City - non-profit association working to help citizens realize the issues facing their communities and develop collective solutions.
- Vancouver Bibliography (U.B.C.) - a comprehensive listing of all materials on the subject of Vancouver from 1790-2001. Lists over 20,000 items in many formats including books, manuscripts, maps, films, articles, microforms and others.
- Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Culture - information on the Vancouver parks administered by the city.
- Vancouver Community Agriculture Network - dedicated to helping groups starting and managing urban gardens.
- Vancouver Public Library - check out their guide to environmental sustainability.
- Vancouver Public Space Network - advocacy group concerned with all aspects of public space, including creative (re)-greening of the public environment and public access to the decision-making process around public space. See their tools page for links and bibliographies.
Research guides for related subjects
- Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions.
- If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.