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Localized Streetscapes : A context based approach to managing stormwater on steep slopes Fairburn, Bryce 2021-05

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LOCALIZED STREETSCAPESBryce FairburnSubmitted in partial fulfillment of the Master of Landscape ArchitectureSchool of Architecture and Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of British ColumbiaSupervisor: Daniel Roehr2020 - 2021Release FormLandscape ArchitectureSchool of Architecture and Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of British ColumbiaName: Bryce FairburnUBC Student number:Graduate Project Title: Localized Streetscapes: A context based approach to managing stormwater on steep slopesIn presenting this report in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia, I agree that UBC may make this work freely available for reference or study. I give permission for copying the report for educational purposes in accordance with copyright laws.Bryce Fairburn                                                    May 4, 2021Name                                                              Signature                                                        Date___________   ___________   ___________Abstract LOCALIZED STREETSCAPES explores how water infrastructure affects the ways in which people relate to, and engage with, the spaces they inhibit. Following a historical exploration that reveals the sundry nature of water infrastructure, this thesis then seeks to explain the influence of high-modernism on 21st century infrastructural systems. This broad inquiry is followed by an examination of urbanization and climate change and the resulting impetus for a new approach to the design of cities. These concepts are applied to the local context, Vancouver, in an effort to aid the City in reaching its Rain City Strategy targets.  This design explores the feasibility of managing and retaining stormwater on steep streetscapes. A pedestrian focused approach is taken that emphasizes accessibility and deprioritized vehicular convenience. The design project takes the form of an interconnected streetscape that is both scalable and reproducible.II IIIList of FiguresFig. 01 - View Along Yew Street ........................................................ 2Fig. 02 - Baburnama .......................................................................... 4Fig. 03 - Vancouver’s Land Cover Distribution ................................ 10Fig. 04 - Combined Sewer Outflows ............................................... 11Fig. 05 - Project Schedule ................................................................ 19Fig. 06 - Existing Site Plan .............................................................. 22Fig. 07 - Vancouver’s Slopes ............................................................. 23Fig. 08 - Approach to Stormwater Management .............................. 26Fig. 09 - Proposed Site Plan ............................................................. 28Fig. 10 - First Avenue Detail ............................................................ 29Fig. 11 - The Lookout Detail ........................................................... 30Fig. 12 - Pollinator Path Detail ........................................................ 31Fig. 13 - Beachside Stream Detail .................................................... 32Fig. 14 - Woodland Lane Detail ...................................................... 33Fig. 15 - View 1 ............................................................................... 35Fig. 16 - View 2 ............................................................................... 35Fig. 17 - View 3 ............................................................................... 35Fig. 18 - View 4 ............................................................................... 35Fig. 19 - Citywide Locations for Future Interventions ..................... 37Table of ContentsAbstract ............................................................................................ IITable of Contents ...........................................................................  IVList of Figures ...................................................................................V1.1 Project Statement ........................................................................ 12.1 Water Infrastructure: A Brief History .......................................... 32.1.1 The Ancient Garden ........................................................... 32.1.2 The Roman Aqueducts ....................................................... 32.1.3 The Stepwells of Western India ........................................... 52.2 The Failures of High Modernism ................................................. 62.3 Urbanization and Climate Change .............................................. 83.1 Precedent: Flows & Systems ...................................................... 133.1.1 Town Branch Commons .................................................. 143.1.2 Harmonia ......................................................................... 153.2 Precedent: Responsive Landscapes ............................................. 163.2.1 BK BioReactor ................................................................. 173.2.2 Amphibious Architecture ................................................. 184.1 Project Schedule ........................................................................ 195.1 Site ............................................................................................ 216.1 Design Proposal ........................................................................ 256.1.1 Purpose Statement ............................................................ 256.1.2 Principles ......................................................................... 256.1.3 Approach.......................................................................... 257.1 Localized Streetscapes ................................................................ 277.1.1 First Avenue ..................................................................... 297.1.2 The Lookout .................................................................... 307.1.3 Pollinator Path ................................................................. 317.1.4 Beachside Stream .............................................................. 327.1.5 Woodland Lane ................................................................ 337.1.6 Spatial Experience ............................................................ 347.1.6 Citywide Intervention ...................................................... 348.1 Conclusion ................................................................................ 369.1 Bibliography .............................................................................. 39IV V1.1 Project Statement In densely populated modern cities, underground pipes continue to act as the primary method for stormwater management. Contemporary research on alternative stormwater management strategies has revealed that societies’ unwavering support for centralized, grey infrastructure has been misguided (Bell, 2015) (Margolis and Chaouni, 2015). The design of stormwater infrastructure needs a shift from single purpose to multifunctional. With proper design, stormwater management systems have the potential to alter the underlying fabric of our cities and change how people experience and engage with the spaces they inhabit.  The Pacific Northwest is characterized by a long wet winter followed by a hot dry summer. Many of those who live in the region associate the Pacific ocean and rainy winters with an abundance of water, however, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The enduring reduction in annual snowpack and absence of summer rain is precipitating a variety of impacts on the region, including the loss of culturally and economically significant native species (Comeau et al., 2019) (Seebacher, 2003), and the perpetual tightening of summer watering restrictions (GVWD, 2016). The city of Vancouver is acutely aware of its responsibility to address the growing water crisis and has recently completed a number of pilot projects in an attempt to understand alternative stormwater management strategies. Their attempts however, have been too narrow in focus and too small in size. The goal of this project is to design a multifunctional public space that is centered around innovative stormwater management practices. A marginalized site is investigated with the desire to shift contemporary thought on appropriate locations for stormwater management interventions. If done well, the city of Vancouver will be able to use the design as inspiration for future projects.1 2Fig. 01 - View Along Yew Street, 19102.1 Water Infrastructure: A Brief History Indigenous peoples in Canada have a unique, spiritual and reciprocal relationship with water that is built into their identity and culture (Cave and McKay, 2016). Despite Vancouver’s location on unceded Indigenous territory, its approach to water is highly functional and mechanistic. Vancouver’s ability to supply and remove water has proven effective in meeting the baseline needs of its residents, nevertheless, its approach must evolve to incorporate the same diversity inherent in its inhabitants. The intent of this brief historical analysis is to demonstrate that water infrastructure has and can continue to be multidimensional.2.1.1 The Ancient Garden The people who lived in southern Mesopotamia are among the earliest documented designers of water systems (Campbell, 2019). In an attempt to counter the region’s inadequate rainfall, King Sennacherib (r. 704–681 BCE) constructed a system that he believed could supply water year-round (Wulff, 1986). The system called qanat, or ‘to dig’, employed underground conduit that conveyed “water from aquifers in highlands to the surface at lower levels by gravity” (Ibid). With this knowledge, King Sennacherib would commission one of the first gardens with plants positioned in rows to facilitate irrigation (Campbell, 2019). On top of providing sustenance, the gardens also served as places for leisure, where kings and queens were surrounded by the luxuries of their time (Ibid). In these early gardens, water’s role was primary for survival, however, as time passed, water became a tool used to communicate religious beliefs. The Persian gardens known as chahar bagh were conceived during the reign of Cyrus the Great (r. 559–530 BCE) and became extremely influential in Islamic garden design. The “chahar bagh, was to find its greatest written expression in the Qur’an, which describes the garden of eternal paradise as being irrigated by four rivers and beautified with a fountain” (Ibid). A painting (Fig 02) completed roughly one thousand years after the reign of Cyrus the Great, clearly demonstrates the lasting cultural, social and religious legacy of water in early Persian gardens.2.1.2 The Roman Aqueducts As technology advanced through the reign of the Roman empire, so did advancements in aqueducts. The aqueducts were complex systems designed with bridges, junctions, tributary feeds and distribution tanks that supplied the region’s inhabitants with fresh water. In order to satisfy Rome’s considerable appetite, eleven aqueducts were constructed between 312 BCE and 226 CE (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019). The longest, Aqua Marcia, sourced water from a spring located 3 4Fig. 02 - Baburnama © Victoria and Albert Museum, London92 kilometers away and delivered it directly to Capitoline Hill (Platner, 2015). Despite the prevalence of aqueducts in Rome, the primary purpose of these systems was not to supply drinking water or improve hygiene, but to supply baths (Hodge, 2002). The Romans were not the first to conceive of aqueducts, but their elaborate systems cemented the idea that one didn’t need to live near water in order to receive it. In his book Roman aqueducts & water supply, Trevor Hodge likens the Roman baths to the modern European sidewalk cafe, highlighting its social nature. The baths also proved useful as a means for people to warm up in the cold winter and wash oneself in the summer heat. Despite the importance of these baths for many Romans, those who did not live in the city, believed aqueducts to be excessive both on financial and material resources. The reason many cities continued to build aqueducts despite their huge costs was due to “civic pride” (Ibid). The aqueducts acted as a symbol of prestige and prosperity and the completion of such a structure was “celebrated by official dinners, speeches, beanfests and other festivities” (Ibid). The need for celebration and social spaces is arguably more important than ever. The aqueducts act as a reminder that water infrastructure has and can continue to be a central part to our social lives.2.1.3 The Stepwells of Western India The climate in Western India is divided into two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season is characterized by monsoon rains and is followed by three months of dry, parched earth. In order to survive the dry season, the region’s inhabitants conceived a solution that afforded access to water year-round. Early stepwells of the late sixth century were fairly rudimentary and built with trenches, lined with stone blocks, with stairs leading to water (Livingston, 2003). The early stepwells proved practical but were superseded by more grand and intricate designs. They became social spaces where people and animals came to recharge. The water in the stepwells soon became a metaphor for the Ganges, thereby becoming a part of the religious fabric in India (Ibid). At the time, collecting water was one of the only tasks women could perform alone and therefore, stepwells became the stage where societal values could be observed (Ibid). Stepwells were considered state of the art in rainwater management for over a thousand years before the onset of the British Raj. They are remarkable structures that used climate, geography and geology to inform their design.2.2 The Failures of High Modernism For all intents and purposes, cities are palimpsests that exhibit the signatures of those who have attempted to improve the human condition. Many of those attempts however, have had unforeseen consequences. Through the lens of high modernist ideology, this section is dedicated to understanding why the current system of planning leans towards legibility and simplicity.  High modernism is conceived by an unwavering support of science and technological innovation, the ability to master nature to meet human needs, the disregard for geographical, historical and social context for development, and, above all, the rendering of complex systems legible (Scott, 1998). High modernity advocates a total transformation of existing conditions and is associated with capitalist and industrial development and is accompanied by the rise of the nation state (Schmidt, 2006). The ideology was most prevalent during the Cold War (Scott, 1998), but its ideological signatures can be traced back to early colonialism and the stepwells of Western India. Direct British rule over India began in 1858 and as a byproduct of Britain’s unprecedented ‘progress’ in science and industry, public works programs were initiated in India (Livingston, 2003). An integral part of the public works program included the ambition to replace stepwells, which they deemed a “sanitary disaster” (Ibid). Considering an estimated 40 million people died between 1817-31 as a result of cholera, improving India’s sanitation was highly desirable (Arnold, 1986). The British decided to look inward for the solution to the sanitation problem and installed pipes and taps, which were fed by massive, newly constructed dams. Their solution demonstrated a complete disregard for historical or social context in development. In addition, their attempt at satisfying one dimensional readings of human needs exposed an underlying desire to master the complex hydrological cycle. The appetite to improve sanitation was righteous, but their methods directly led to the loss of the stepwell “as a source of water, as a gathering place, and as a focal point for many of the deepest feelings of the local people” (Livingston, 2003). For many, the geographical redistribution of water alleviated the personal struggle associated with water collection, however, conscious decisions were made in determining who received water and where the water came from. In doing so, the government was able to render what was a complex system of inputs and outputs much more legible. Due to the approach to water management developed during colonial rule, millions of people in India now lack “sufficient water provision, a connection to the official sewer system, and agency over their access to clean water” (Karim, 2020). Modernist plans, backed by authoritarian power, fail because designed “social order is necessarily schematic” (Scott, 1998) and therefore ignore the complexity of real social order. 5 6High modernist ideology is not inherently negative but it has proved incapable of negotiating with the complexity of our living world, and ineffective in achieving equitable and healthy relationships amongst inhabitants. In order to design a space that facilitates real social order, planners must consider local knowledge, geography, and culture, as indispensable components that guide the development of regionally specific interventions. Le Corbusier, a highly influential French-Swiss architect, is credited for imagining some of the most extreme high modernist cities. In La ville radieuse, Le Corbusier insisted on the concept of “strict function separation”, which became a core tenet of high modernism and was standard practice for urban planners until the 1960’s (Scott, 1998). The planned segregation of cities was at its core an attempt at simplification and led to geographic locations being reserved for specific functions (Ibid). The desire to segregate spaces is easily explainable; it’s far easier to plan an urban space if it only has one function. It’s far easier to plan a street, if only one type of vehicle is considered. It’s far easier to extract gold, if the safety of workers is not considered. It allows planners to narrow down design criteria and as many are inherently aware, decisions become more difficult when there are more variables to consider. One of the problems associated with efficient planning for large populations, is the designer assumes all users have the same value system and desire to be in spaces that only perform one function. As it relates to stormwater, there is greater clarity in designing for efficiency, however, there is also the need to recharge aquifers, cool down a hot street and store it for reuse. We as landscape architects need to design multifunctional spaces that reflect the desires of people who live in them.2.3 Urbanization and Climate Change  2007 was a pivotal year in which the global urban population surpassed its rural counterpart (United Nations, 2017). Populations in urban areas are projected to increase dramatically over the coming decades and the issues facing cities in response to this new reality are widespread. Vancouver is not immune from these impacts and expects a population increase of approximately 80,000 and an employment increase of 59,000 by 2041 (Metro Vancouver, 2010). An increase in populations and jobs directly results in an increased stress on water, sewer and drainage systems.  It is no surprise that an increase in population leads to an increase in sewage volume. A population increase of 80,000 by 2041 sounds manageable, but the unfortunate reality is the city of Vancouver is already playing catch up. In 2018, the City discharged 33 billion litres of combined sewage into local water bodies (City of Vancouver, 2019). The staggering volume is a result of Vancouver’s combined infrastructural system, in which one pipe handles both sewage and drainage. Combined sewer overflows (CSO) “occur when the volume of combined wastewater and rainwater exceeds the capacity in the pipe system and/or treatment plant” (Ibid). Transitioning to a separate drainage and sewage system, with the necessary capacity is no easy feat. The current system is highly complex and issues caused by increased density and growing impervious surfaces exacerbate existing water challenges and create new ones. Moreover, aging infrastructure and budgetary constraints have made it impossible to quickly transition to a separate system (Ibid). In light of the current situation, future stormwater management projects should prioritize in-situ solutions. If accomplished, it would result in a massive reduction in the volume of sewage discharged into local water bodies. With a projected increase in jobs and populations, the need for more office spaces, roads, parking lots and homes will grow. Urban development directly results in an increase in impermeable surfaces (Dams et al., 2013), a reduction in the urban canopy (Fox et al., 2012) and increased urban runoff (Walsh et al., 2005). As water flows over roofs, paved streets and parking lots, it picks up a variety of pollutants, which are more often than not, discharged straight into local water bodies without treatment (McGrane, 2016). The pollutants in urban runoff have been found to be “highly toxic to salmon and other fish” (City of Vancouver, 2019), and are known to have “far reaching impacts throughout the coastal and marine food chain” (Ibid). Some of the most common pollutants in urban runoff are heavy metals from brake pads, tires and rooftops, hydrocarbons from oils and gasoline, nutrients from fertilizers and animal waste, and microplastics from building material wear (Tong and Chen, 2002) (Wu et al., 1998). Treating urban runoff 7 8without grey infrastructure should be the priority. Using vegetation as the method of pollutant removal has shown to be effective (Davis et al., 2001) and has many upsides, including but not limited to the re-introduction of plant cover to our urban environment. If stormwater management infrastructure is designed to capture and treat runoff on site, there will be a massive reduction in sewage and pollutants that enter the water bodies surrounding Vancouver.  Rain is an intrinsic part of Vancouver’s identity and helps shape many of our daily experiences. On average, the City receives 160 days of rain per year, with 10% coming by way of extreme rainstorms (greater than 48 mm per day). As a result of climate change Vancouver is expected to receive an increase in total rainfall volume and extreme rainfall events that are likely to cause more frequent overland floods and trigger CSO events (City of Vancouver, 2019). However, despite an expected increase in rainfall volume, according to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, seasonal water shortages were given the second highest risk rating in B.C, behind wildfires (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, 2019). The high risk rating is a result of predicted increases in the duration of summertime droughts and increased year-round temperatures. Consecutive years of hot and dry conditions are already having an impact on British Columbia’s plant, species and ecosystem health (D’Amore et al., 2009) (Vanessa et al., 2019). The Thuja Plicata, a culturally, ecologically and economically significant tree is slowly dying in lower-elevation sites across British Columbia (Oregon Department of Forestry, 2019) (Seebacher, 2003). In addition, there has been a decline in Salmon populations as a result of high water temperatures and low flows, affecting spawning, incubation and rearing conditions (Nelitz, 2007). More frequent summertime heat waves are also predicted to hit British Columbia (City of Vancouver, 2019) and are expected to exacerbate the issues facing trees, plants and wildlife, impacting their abilities to provide ecosystem services (Depietri, 2011). Vulnerable populations in urban areas will be the hardest hit by heat waves (Ibid), and their effects will be amplified by the heat island effect, which causes urban areas with extensive impermeable surfaces to become significantly warmer than areas with canopy cover (McGrane, 2016). In times of summertime drought, Vancouver relies on snowpack to recharge aquifers and supply drinking water (City of Vancouver, 2019). As a result of warmer winters, Vancouver is expecting a 58% reduction in snowpack by 2050 (Ibid). Without summertime snow melt, streams will run dry, ecosystems will suffer and watering restrictions will become even more severe. Climate change is already affecting Vancouver’s water security and availability (GVWD, 2016) and we must find ways to increase canopy cover and green space in our cities while adopting methods for stormwater storage and reuse.Fig. 03 - Vancouver’s Land Cover DistributionPermeable 51%Buildings & Sites29%Streets & Public Spaces 19%Parks 1%2.4 Rain City Strategy: A Paradigm Shift  In 2019, the city of Vancouver released a report on its Rain City Strategy, which details its green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) and rainwater management initiative. The report outlines the imperatives for a new rainwater approach and highlights key findings, targets and next steps. The target section is fundamental in understanding the breadth and scope of the city’s vision. The key performance target as set out in the report requires the management of 40% of urban runoff from impervious areas using GRI by 2050. If the 2050 target is met 27,7 billion liters of runoff would be diverted from the sewer system and there would be a 34% annual reduction in CSO events. While the 40% target doesn’t go as far as it should, the report indicates that managing impervious surfaces using GRI is the best approach for reducing the volume of pollutants and sewage that enter Vancouver’s water bodies. According to the report, Vancouver consists of 49% impermeable area, of which, 29% falls within buildings and sites, 19% falls within streets and public spaces, and 1% within parks. While buildings and sites account for the largest portion of impermeable areas, immediate and widespread changes to the design of these spaces is not expected. According to the strategy, GRI implementation is only required for new developments and capital projects. Considering the short but predictable life expectancy of modern buildings, we can anticipate slow but sustained improvements in GRI implementation for this category. On the other hand, modifications to streets and public spaces can be proposed at any time. Private landowners should take responsibility for GRI implementation, but the city of Vancouver should lead by example and implement a city wide plan that proposes changes to the design of all public spaces and streetsscapes.9 10Fig. 04 - Combined Sewer Outflows11 123.1 Precedent: Flows & Systems In 1929, a St. Louis planning consultant by the name of Harland Bartholomew, presented his radical plan for Vancouver (Langford, 2012). Bartholomew staunchly advocated that cities were better designed by planners than by natural processes (Sullivan, n.d.). His firm belief is exemplified by the quote he chose for the opening page in A Plan for the City of Vancouver:“We must make plans; who looks not before, finds himself behind.” -Publilius Syrus, 44 B.C During the time of Bartholomew’s hiring, Vancouver was experiencing significant growth in terms of population and car ownership. In order to reduce projected traffic congestion, Bartholomew suggested the standardization of major and minor streets (Bartholomew et al., 1929). Four, six and eight lane thoroughfares were recommended across the city (Ibid). Continuity, directness, width, grade, and setbacks, were deemed essential requisites to an effective street (Ibid). Bartholomew’s approach to street-scape design celebrated the emergence of the automobile and encouraged the flow of capital. Streets became places where Bartholomew could express his preferred aesthetic and desire for order. Chaotic processes, like the decaying of leaves or the pooling of water had no place in the modern street. Ultimately, Bartholomew’s master plan was rejected by the city, however, his car-centric, capital-producing, high-modernist approach was accepted by subsequent planners (Langford, 2012) and is still the predominant lens through which Vancouver’s streetscapes are designed. For close to 100 years, Vancouver’s streetscapes have remained static, immune from the pressures placed on it by a dynamic world. As Michel Foucault observes, “Perhaps our life is still governed by a certain number of oppositions that remain inviolable, that our institutions and practices have not yet dared to break down[:]...oppositions that we regard as simple givens” (Foucault, 1986). The precedents set forth in this section aim to inspire alternative street-scape designs that diminish the importance of capital producing flows and facilitate the functioning of natural systems. 3.1.1 Town Branch Commons, 2013Designer: SCAPE.Collaborator: AECOM, Lord Aeck Sargent, Gresham Smith & Partners, Strand Engineering, Lochner, Third Rock Consultants.Client: Lexington Downtown Development Authority.Scope: 2.5 mile path through the historic Town Branch creek in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.Description & Takeaways: Town Branch Commons is a hybrid park network, multi-modal trail system and water infiltration landscape. The project’s aim is to reconnect Lexington with its Bluegrass identity, using local geology as inspiration for its design. Town Branch Commons reclaims much of the existing street for pedestrian and cyclist usage. The project is still in the early design phase, however, its conceptual framework is communicated quite clearly through early renderings and diagrams, and is where the majority of my interest in this project lies. The complex interactions between water and geology drive this project’s conceptual framework. The interactions are reduced and simplified into the keywords, clean, connect, carve and reveal. Through the process of abstraction, the designer is able to reimagine water’s relationship to urban form, and guides a unique approach to water management. Despite the project’s emphasis on keywords, their drawings do a poor job of communicating how each space differs from the others, casting doubts on the usefulness of the selected keywords. Moreover, everyday users are far removed from complex and lengthy geological processes, which bring into question their usefulness from the standpoint of public engagement. Designing a landscape using keywords that are more relatable may lead to a landscape that users can better engage with.13 143.1.2 Harmonia, 2007Designer: Triptyque Architecture.Collaborator: Peter Webb, Hidraulique, HQE.Client: IV Inc.Scope: Artist residence in São Paulo, Brazil. Surface: 1100 m², Ground: 550 m².Description & Takeaways: Harmonia is located in the heart of Sao Paulo’s cultural district and is designed to accommodate artists’ studios. The project is conceived as a living organism that breathes, sweats and changes over time. The structure embraces the region’s unique hydrological cycle and is designed to accommodate frequent floods. A main feature of the structure is the plant wall, which receives water via a system of pipes, tanks and diffusers. The system is unusual because it acts as an exoskeleton that is highlighted and celebrated, instead of hidden. The green pipes emit a mist, irrigating the plants and engaging a user’s sense of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. This project exemplifies how a designer can reveal what are typically hidden, ubiquitous landscape elements, and expose them in beautiful ways. The project possesses a pleasing aesthetic and its attention to the detail, especially in regard to the decking is exceptional, however, the practicality of the vegetated wall is questionable. The plant locations and their constrained root balls may lead to reduced life spans and increased maintenance. Increasing the sizes of the plant holes and planting multiple plants to each hole may result in longer life spans, and a more pleasing aesthetic. In addition, the irrigation system loses a considerable volume of water to the atmosphere given its delivery method. A multifunctional system that integrates a more efficient delivery method, while still providing the sensorial qualities of water would be highly beneficial.3.2 Precedent: Responsive Landscapes Responsive landscapes at their core focus “on the interaction between environmental phenomena and architectural space” (Cantrell and Holzman, 2016). Designs that engage the indeterminacy and dynamism that is inherent in the landscape are becoming more common as a result of emergent technologies that are highly adaptable and intelligent (Yoon and Höweler, 2006). Advocates for responsive landscapes argue against static design solutions, and instead encourage landscapes that sense, respond, interpret and interact with environmental phenomena in real time. Projects of this nature often originate out of a desire to imbue knowledge onto the users of a space. The methods proposed in this section endorse responsive landscapes as a method for public engagement that moves beyond merely design and encourages collective action.  As technology becomes more dominant in our everyday lives, responsive landscapes may feel like a logical next step in the design of everyday spaces. However, it is important to understand that data driven design is often synonymous with increased control. Bradley Cantrell and Justine Holzman question if responsive landscapes are “about embedding new forms of intelligence or do they simply imply a tightening of a feigned control over chaotic systems?” (Cantrell and Holzman, 2016). The ambition to incorporate responsive technologies into this project does not originate out of a desire to control people or systems. It is an attempt at communicating cause and effect and rendering the invisible visible.15 163.2.1 BK BioReactor, 2015Designer: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.Collaborator: GenSpace, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Landscape Metrics, and Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.Client: Axis Civitas Design Competition.Scope: Proposal for the future of the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn, New York.Description & Takeaways: The BK BioReactor project proposes an infrastructural bio-network that investigates the polluted Gowanus canal. The project aims to understand the often underappreciated microorganisms found in sediment. At given intervals, 14 vertical docks project light into the air and across the water after analyzing the canal’s sediment. Considering the generous spacing between vertical docs, this project has the ability to connect with a significant and representative population on a continual basis. A mobile research station is tasked with gathering information from individual docks and projecting a graphic breakdown for public consumption. This project does a good job of using abstraction to render the invisible visible. Taking sediment data and abstracting it into light, makes the information more accessible and can be quite beautiful, however, it is unclear what the public is expected to do with this information. Moreover, the graphic breakdown that is projected for public consumption is highly academic in nature and is incomprehensible without a background in microbiology. Providing information that is of greater use to the public would increase this project ability to foster collective action.3.2.2 Amphibious Architecture, 2009Designers: The Living Architecture Lab at Columbia.Collaborators: xClinic Environmental Health Clinic at New York University.Scope: Two temporary installations on the Brooklyn River and East River in New York City (40’ x 40’ x 6’) connected with an SMS Interface.Description & Takeaways: Amphibious Architecture is an installation that originated out of a desire to communicate ecosystem health to New York residents. The project uses interactive tubes containing cheap lo-fi fish sensors as a method for recording the presence of fish, which they use to determine ecosystem health. Through a localized network, visitors and fish are connected real time through an SMS interface.  Light below the surface of the water tracks the speed of fish, spatializing their typically invisible presence. Light above the water, however, changes colour depending on the water quality, indicating that it is either better or worse than the previous week. Amphibious Architecture employs a strategy that establishes an emotional connection to non-human inhabitants and successfully expands our view of the connection between urban environments and ecological systems. The conceptual framework for this project is well thought through, but its final size and title does it a disservice. Not only is the installation too small to be highly visible, its location must compete with the bright lights from surrounding buildings and bridges. In addition, this project is not ‘architecture’. Artistic titles that do not communicate a project’s intent should not be used at the expense of greater public accessibility.17 18Thesis ConceptualizationHistorical AnalysisResearch & Literature ReviewPrecedent AnalysisDesign MethodologySite Selection & Immersion Conceptual DesignSchematic DesignDetail DesignExploration of Relevant Media and Process Sketching, Model Making and WritingWritingDrawingProduction4.1 Project ScheduleSeptember October November December January February March AprilExploration of Responsive TechnologiesGP 1 GP 2Fig. 05 - Project Schedule19 205.1 Site This project investigates Yew Street and its immediate surroundings as a testbed for re-imagining public space and stormwater management practices. Located on the North side of Vancouver, this Kitsilano neighborhood was chosen first and foremost because it’s a site that attracts many users. It appeals to locals and visitors as a result of its commercial and residential zoning, and acts as the main entrance to Kitsilano beach for those arriving from the south. Despite the busy nature of the area, the street has minimal vehicular traffic and is primarily used as a place for parking.  The neighbourhood is located in a region that has a combined infrastructural system and therefore has an impact on Vancouver’s overall sewage discharge. Moreover, when it rains, the stormwater that doesn’t enter the combined system, carries pollutants to an outflow situated just North of Kitsilano beach. In addition, the lack of canopy cover and the area’s vast impervious surfaces make it a location susceptible to the impacts associated with the urban heat island effect.  As it relates to the rain city strategy, much of the work the city of Vancouver is doing with green rainwater infrastructure is done on land with a minimal change in grade. This site, like much of Vancouver, is topographically diverse. Figure 07 highlights the topography of the city, with the areas in red representing slopes above 12%. While it may be challenging to manage water on steep slopes, if the City is going to meet its key performance targets, a tailored solution to managing water on steep slopes must be realized. What’s truly unique about this site, compared to other locations across the city is how the zoning and slope determine parking locations. In a typical Avenue, driveways appear sporadically on both sides of the street. In this neighborhood, there are no driveways on the South side of each block. What this means for the designer is increased freedom in adjusting and reconfiguring the layout of the streetscape. Another unique opportunity associated with the steep slopes in the area are incredible views. The site sits in a unique location that affords views to English Bay and to False Creek and finding ways to highlight the views will be a priority. On the other hand, the steep slopes also bring about challenges. Yew Street can get as steep as 15% and even those who are able bodied have a tough time making it up the hill. If the streetscape is redesigned to prioritize pedestrians, it could become a much more accessible and valuable space.Fig. 06 - Existing Site Plan21 22Fig. 07 - Vancouver’s Slopes23 246.1 Design Proposal This design proposal builds off much of the work completed in the first part of this project, however, there are some elements that were left behind. The sections on responsive landscape were useful at the beginning of this project as a means of thinking about public engagement, however, the desire to change public perception with one design project is often misguided. In this instance, regulation might be the best method for widespread adoption of green infrastructure on private property. Going forward, the project will focus on what the designer can control, public space.6.1.1 Purpose Statement  The designer believes that centralized stormwater management systems are inherently flawed and instead the city should strive to manage stormwater where it lands. Moreover, the designer believes that this paradigm shift necessitates the redesign of Vancouver’s streets and that the redesign should prioritize the needs of pedestrians over vehicular convenience. 6.1.2 Principles 1. Manage stormwater runoff up to a10 year storm.2. Remove pollutants carried by urban runoff.3. Mitigate the impacts associated with the urban heat island effect.4. Improve bird and pollinator habitat.5. Maintain below an 8% slope.6.1.3 Approach  Figure 08 illustrates the project’s approach to managing stormwater on site.  Feeder streets and alleys will be designed to collect and manage stormwater, this includes water from adjacent private property but excludes buildings. The water they can’t manage will be transferred to Yew street. Once Yew street reaches its management capacity, the remainder will be diverted to Kitsilano park.Fig. 08 - Approach to Stormwater Management25 26Fig. 09 - Proposed Site Plan7.1 Localized Streetscapes  Two of the most noticeable aspects of the design are the increase in street trees and the strong formal geometry of Yew Street. It is clear to those who live in Vancouver that water and topography are the basic elements that shape Vancouver’s identity and many of our daily experiences. The geometry that arises in the design comes from the connection between the movement of people and water, or more specifically, urban runoff and accessibility. On the surface these two elements are seemingly unrelated but in fact share a number of similarities. Both elements need special design consideration and often do not receive the attention they deserve. Generally, people and water do not move in a straight line unless they are forced to. They meander and evade obstacles and move at variable speeds. Both take time to get where they need to be and this project’s design language attempts to start a conversation centered around the comparable needs of people and water.27 287.1.1 First Avenue  In an effort to minimize the presence of vehicles while prioritizing pedestrians, the representative feeder street is redesigned to accommodate one way traffic. With one parking lane and one driving lane, space was reallocated for stormwater management, while still providing vehicular access and the same number of parking spaces. Moreover, by utilizing all the space up to the property lines, both pedestrian paths were widened and the existing street trees were retained. A decision was taken to dramatically increase the number of street trees to lessen the impacts associated with the heat island effect and to slow the descent of water during storm events. Moreover, because streets are the locations where pollutants typically end up, this is also where the majority of the pollutant removal will need to occur. Fig. 10 - First Avenue Detail7.1.2 The Lookout  The lookout is a structure that extends over an intersection and provides views to the beach and downtown. While the experiential qualities of this location are important, given the volume of runoff from the alleys to the south and the sensitive plantings to the north, this location is a perfect spot for stormwater storage and the source for summer irrigation. Moreover, because an underground structure was required in this location, it made sense to provide an elevated lookout that could take advantage of the substructure. With a depth of 7 meters and a capacity of 920 cubic meters, the storage area is roughly equal to the volume of fill required to make an accessible path to the elevated lookout from the south. The lookout itself has a clearance of 4 meters to allow for firetrucks to pass through without issue and the facade uses locally sourced bricks that match the aesthetic character of the area.Fig. 11 - The Lookout Detail29 307.1.3 Pollinator Path  The pollinator path is located in a commercial zoned area that is lined with restaurants, bars and grocery stores. The design of this block was challenging because it needed to consider how to create an accessible path while negotiating an 11% slope. The design accounts for a 3 meter frontage and a 3 meter through-way zone for pedestrian use. The triangular pollinator pools in the center of the streetscape retain water and provide pollinator habitat year round. Experientially, these planters will radiate that summer meadow smell and exhibit splashes of colour that typically accompany pollinator gardens. The Red Range Tupelo was selected in this location for its red fall colour and for the fruit, which is high in nutrients and is eaten by a variety of birds and mammals.Fig. 12 - Pollinator Path Detail7.1.4 Beachside Stream  The block that the beachside stream investigates was once the home of a small stream that was paved over by settlers and has long been forgotten. The design is a way of remembering Vancouver’s complicated past. The area includes lots of benches that create pockets of space that can satisfy both individuals and groups. Long tread plates are used to break up the repetitive nature of the street and allow opportunities for local artists to have input into the design. Local granite slabs are used to direct water into the stream and prevent soil erosion. Lastly, electrical utilities are installed subgrade to allow for better pedestrian flow and the unimpeded growth of trees. While putting utilities underground is expensive, it is far more economical to undertake the work during an intensive street renovation.Fig. 13 - Beachside Stream Detail31 327.1.5 Woodland Lane  The woodland lane is a semi-elevated bike path that traverses a significant swale in an underutilized space in Kitsilano park. The bike path is necessary because the current layout requires cyclists to travel through a large parking lot, which causes needless conflict with motorists. The intervention replaces roughly a third of the overall parking area with a bike path and introduces a stormwater retention area, sized to accommodate extreme rainstorm events that are likely to become more frequent as a result of climate change. Western red cedar, Thuja plicata, is favored in the planting plan because of their noticeable decline in urban areas, while water loving deciduous trees like the river birch are used to create a woodland feel.Fig. 14 - Woodland Lane Detail7.1.6 Spatial Experience  Figure 15 and 16 illustrate eye level spatial experiences taken from atop the lookout. The lookout happens to sit in a unique location where the streets going North and East drop in elevation quite rapidly. These factors result in fantastic views to both the North Shore and False Creek. Typically these views are reserved for the privileged few who can afford them but public space should work for the greater good and these types of experiences should be more plentiful and publicly accessible. Figure 17 illustrates a view South along the pollinator path up to the lookout. The drawing is useful in showing how much space actually exists between property lines and suggests a plethora of alternative design interventions. In addition, it also shows how the design accommodates the complexity of building types and allows businesses the flexibility to choose what they want to do with the space in front of their building. Figure 18 is an important drawing because in many ways the park itself is the conclusion to the design. With that being said, a more sensitive approach was taken in designing the park and an emphasis was put on creating an unobstructed view to the water. Previously, the entrance was obstructed literally and visually by dense shrubs and a decision was made to remove those shrubs to create a more open and inviting conclusion to the experience.7.1.6 Citywide Intervention  Given the scale of Vancouver’s water problems, designing one intervention is simply not enough. Using the methodology set out in this project, locations for future interventions were also identified. The selected locations continue to focus on multi family dwellings, which means minimal driveways and plenty of users. In addition, they all sit in relatively steep areas and the excess runoff from these locations could easily be diverted to nearby parks. Moreover, they are also located where the heat island effect is predicted to be the most severe and where combined sewer overflow events are the most common.33 348.1 Conclusion It is necessary to acknowledge that given the scope of this project’s ambitions, a more collaborative effort between allied disciplines would have been beneficial. Furthermore, it is also important to recognize that this was simply one out of an infinite number of possible iterations. Even though the proposed design ended up being a highly engineered solution requiring significant upfront investment, the localized nature of the design brings its own advantages, including easier and more affordable maintenance. Despite the importance of monetary considerations, ultimately the goal of this project was about bettering our city and improving public spaces for all to enjoy.Fig. 18 - View 4Fig. 17 - View 3Fig. 16 - View 2Fig. 15 - View 135 36Fig. 19 - Citywide Locations for Future Interventions37 389.1 BibliographyArnold, D. (1986). Cholera and colonialism in British India.Bartholomew, H., Mills, E.O., Deming, L.T., Hudson, W.M.D.   (1928). A Plan for the City of Vancouver. Accessed November  16, 2020. https://archive.org/details/vancplanincgen00vanc/ mode/2up?q=.Bell, S. (2015). Renegotiating Urban Water.Campbell, G. (2019). Garden History: A very Short Introduction.Cantrell, B., Holzman, J. (2016). Responsive Landscapes: Strategies  for Responsive Technologies in Landscape Architecture.Cave, K., McKay, S. (2016). Water Song: Indigenous Women and  Water. Accessed December 04, 2020. https://www.resilience. org/stories/2016-12-12/water-song-indigenous-women-and- water/.City of Vancouver. (2019). Rain City Strategy.Comeau, V.M., Daniels, L.D., Knochenmus, G., Chavardès, R.D.,  Zeglen, S. (2019). Tree-Rings Reveal Accelerated Yellow-Cedar  Decline with Changes to Winter Climate after 1980.D’Amore, D.V., Hennon, P.E., Schaberg, P.G., Hawley, G.J. (2009).  Adaptation to exploit nitrate in surface soils predisposes  yellow-cedar to climate-induced decline while enhancing the  survival of western redcedar: A new hypothesisDams, J., Dujardin, J., Reggers, R., Bashir, I., Canters, F., Batelaan, O.  (2013). Mapping impervious surface change from remote  sensing for hydrological modeling.Davis, A.P., Shokouhian, M., Sharma, H., Minami, C. (2001).  Laboratory Study of Biological Retention for Urban Stormwater  Management.Depietri, Y., Renaud, F.G., Kallis, G. (2011). Heat waves and floods in  urban areas: a policy-oriented review of ecosystem services.Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2019. Aqueduct. Accessed October  19, (2020). https://www.britannica.com/technology/ aqueduct-engineering.Foucault, M. (1986). Of Other Spaces.Fox, D.M., Witz, E., Blanc, V., Soulié, C., Penalver-Navarro, M.,  Dervieux, A. (2012). A case study of land cover change (1950– 2003) and runoff in a Mediterranean catchment.GVWD. (2016). Water Shortage Response Plan.Hodge, T.A. (2002). Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply.Karim, S.H. (2020). (Re)Imagining Water.Langford, W. (2012). “Is Sutton Brown God?” Planning Expertise and  the Local State in Vancouver, 1952-73.Livingston, M. (2003). Temples for Water.Margolis, L., Chaouni, A. (2015). Out Of Water.McGrane, S.J. (2016). Impacts of urbanisation on hydrological and  water quality dynamics, and urban water management: a  review.Metro Vancouver. (2010). Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future.Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. (2019).  Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment.Nelitz, M., Alexander, C.A.D., Wieckowski, K. (2007). Helping Pacific  salmon survive the impact of climate change on freshwater  habitats: case studies.Oregon Department of Forestry. (2019). Why is my Tree Dying?.Platner, S.B. (2015). A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.Roehr, D. (2021). Sense-ible Design. Interacting with the Landscape  for Designers. (Manuscript)Schmidt, V.H. (2006). Multiple Modernities or Varieties of Modernity?.Scott, J.C. (1998). In Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to  Improve the Human Condition Have Failed.Seebacher, T.M. (2003). Western redcedar dieback: possible links to  climate change and implications for forest management on  Vancouver Island.Sullivan, S. (n.d.). Harland Bartholomew. Accessed November 16,  2020. https://kumtuks.ca/harland-bartholomew/.Tong S.T.Y., Chen, W. (2002). Modeling the relationship between land  use and surface water quality.United Nations. (2017). World Population Prospects. Accessed  October 28, 2020. https://population.un.org/wpp/.Walsh, C.J., Roy, A.H., Feminella, J.W., Cottingham, P.D., Groffman,  P.M., Morgan, R.P. (2005). The urban stream syndrome:  current knowledge and the search for a cure.Wu, J.S., AlIan, C.J., Saunders, W.L., Evett, J.B. (1998). Characterization  and Pollutant Loading Estimation for Highway Runoff.Wulff, H.E. (1968). The Qanats of Iran.Yoon, M.J., Höweler, E. (2009). Expanded practice: Höweler + Yoon  Architecture/My Studio.39 40

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