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University Neighbourhood Association Open House Assessment Colter, Rebecca; Chen, Ivy; Sinkewicz, Nicholas 2009

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SEEDS Student Reports  1  UBC Social, Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Reports  University Neighbourhood Association Open House Assessment Rebecca Colter Ivy Chen Nicholas Sinkewicz University of British Columbia LARC 543 December 2009  Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment Focus of This Assessment - Hawthorn Place Neighborhood Open Space Context  1  Open Space Classification  2  Private Space  3  Shared Space  4  Public Space  5  400 m Walking Radius  6  Current Maintenace Conditions  7  Habitat Framework  8  Current Habitat Quality  9  Vertical Stratification  10  Water Systems  11  Where Do We Go From Here?  12  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Open Space Context  MAP The Greater Vancouver Regional District’s “Livable Region Strategic Plan” has Greater Vancouver Regional District dedicated itself to four main purposes: to increase transportation choices, to build complete communities, to create compact communities and to protect the green zone. Because of this plan, the region is blessed with a high percentage of protected green space. This green space provides many benefits including water cleansing, habitat and recreation for humans. This assessment focuses on the University Neighborhood Association with special attention taken to the Hawthorne Neighborhood, located on the far right map. The open space network in this neighborhood has been mapped and further assessed for relative success from a human, water and habitat standpoint. Recommendations for enhancements of these areas is also included. GVRD =283,183 Hectares Total      (GVRD)  University of British Columbia (UBC)  Hawthorne Neighborhood  =205,520 Hectares Green Space =Approximately 70% Green Space  UBC =1165 Hectares Total  =813 Hectares Green Space  =Approximately 70% Green Space* *Includes surrounding University Endowment Lands  1  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Open Space Classifcation Open Space Types  All spaces dominated by vegetation, in any scale in Hawthorn Place has been defined as open space in our analysis. To understand the quality of these spaces, it is important to categorize them by their functions. In doing this, the classifications also conveniently categorized the spaces into possible ownership status and maintenance responsibilities.  N  2  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Open Space Classification Private Space  Hawthorn Place is comprised of a small amount of privately owned spaces. This means that significant changes for open space quality in Hawthorn Place does not have to rely on persuading private owners to change their behaviors.  Private Yard  N Private Yard  3  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Open Space Classifcation Shared Space  A shared space is located on private property, but does not have physical barriers or boundaries to prevent the public from entering it. But these spaces are functionally designated for the owners or residence of the property. This implies that change in planting styles may not be in the control of the UNA.  Front Setback  Semi- Private Courtyard  Remanent Space  Front setback  N  Semi private courtyard Remanent space/ leftover  4  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Open Space Classification Public Space  The functions of these spaces are designated for public use. The large amount of these types of spaces in Hawthon place means that the UNA has a significant amount of influence in possible changes in the quality of these spaces.  Forest  Pocket Park  Riparian area  Playground  Community Garden  Street Rows  Forest Pocket parks Possible Riparian corridor Neighborhood playground  N  Community garden Street row  5  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  400 m Walking Radius  There are many ways to talk about and analyze how open space serves people. Two indicators we chose to look at are diversity of recreation and proximity to dwellings.  400 m Walking Radius  A 400 m radius walking circle is generally accepted as the distance a person is willing to travel by foot for an amenity. Travelling by foot puts less reliance on the automobile and promotes personal interaction and exercise, just to name a few benefits. The other caveat to travelling on foot is that the path generally has to be safe and the destinations accessible (e.g. crossing as few streets and major intersections as possible). At the very worst end of this spectrum one could imagine a sub division, drawing a 400m walking circle, and finding no public open space, no amenities, and quite possibly no sidewalks.  When we draw a 400m walking circle around Hawthorn, a medium density residential development with ~1500 residents (circle also encompasses high density dorms), we can see that the recreational opportunities available within the 400m radius have the potential to be well used by many people. Our findings also show that there is an incredible diversity of recreation available to Hawthorn residents (and others) - that is also very easily accessible.  400 m Walking Radius  Medium/High Density Housing  Current Diversity of Recreation Inside 400m  Just Outside 400m  Fields  Courts  Pacific Ocean  Rose Gardens  Botanical Gardens  Playgrounds  Community Garden  Golf  Running  Walking  Sitting  6  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Current Maintenance Conditions  We also performed an assessment of current maintenance conditions and sustainability of Jim Taylor Park and Hawthorn Park.  Analysis  Recommendations  Both parks are beautifully landscaped with a great concept and programmation, with wide sinuous pathways, a level grade, and a great variety of activities that people can take part in in the surrounding area, such as a coffee shop, playground, benches, walking, and turf play. The park is a good mix of both social and ecological.  Turf  Wild Grass Mix  Asphalt  Pervious Pavers  Bare Soil  But while programmatically this mix of social and ecological is a strength, it’s also very expensive to maintain.  Pruning Non-Native Plants  Evaluation Area  Mulch  Less/Smart Pruning  Native Plants  Hardy trees -- London plane,Carpinus - species are pest resistant, well adapted in this climate, hardy and can  Swale -- In a wet climate like B.C. accumulation of organic matter and soil washes down into the rock matrix, creating perfect  handle human interaction (soil compaction and physical contact)  conditions for moss and weeds to thrive. We live in a climate that does not get hot enough to burn and oxidize the organic matter that accumulates in the rock crevices, it will have to be weeded by hand which is very difficult, time consuming, and expensive.  Soil cover -- Maintenance will often blow across soil to clear leaves (or wind will naturally blow through). This  Larger rocks would create larger gaps that can dry out. Also, the swales are not connected to the overall campus water plan and  exposes soil, and in the heavy fall and winter rains this will cause compaction in the soil and change the hydrol-  as such are more ornamental than functional.  ogy. Adding mulch will insulate soil, protect from water droplets and humans, protects trees, and keeps the weeds down giving perennials a chance to compete with the other woody plants.  Pruning -- When pruning is necessary it must also be done intelligently. For example, raspberry trees fruit on their 2nd year’s chutes, and each year, if they are being cut back, they will continue to look anemic and bear very little fruit. Also, plants like Arbu  Barrier plantings -- Barrier plantings like berberis and birch are not particularly hardy or planted densely  tus have to be pruned by taking out the oldest (5-6 year) chutes as opposed to sheering the sides and top off.  enough to form a solid barrier. As a result they will continue to be trampled by people and look worse for wear. Non Native trees -- Growing fruit trees well is a very high maintenance and high expertise endeavor. Cherry trees are disease and mildew prone, need room to grow and generally do not tolerate a high level of human disturbance.  7  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Habitat- Hawthorn Place  When talking about sustainable habitat, it is important to understand the concept of how animals move within a “Habitat Matrix.” The diagram below shows corridors, patches and stepping-stones as ways animals move. The Fender’s blue butterfly density, connectivity, and proximity of these elements dictate how well animal species can move through and among green spaces to feed, shelter, and breed to promote population diversity. The diagram to the right applies this concept to Hawthorn Place to show that the framework is already in place, but that plant species enhancement would have to take place before these spaces become high quality animal habitat.  RKS VER  HABITAT ECOLOGY 101 Spatial edition . . .  rix’ tch, one  Corridors  Patches and stepping stones  Dramstad, Olson and Forman Landscape pattern from an ecological function point of view  Habitat Matrix Diagram 8  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment When assessing the quality of the open space for habitat use, water possibilities as well as plants and their layout, density, and species were assessed. High habitat value locations usually included a variety of plant species, but specifically species that are berry, seed, nut, or pollen producing. In addition, the layout and arrangement of the plants affect their ability to act as good habitat. Vertical stratification is important planting arrangement for animal habitat. Low habitat value locations generally consist of lawn. While, lawn is good for children free play, lawn is a monoculture that provides little to no habitat value. In addition, it requires high maintenance energy, fertilizer, and water use. From site observations, locations for current possible habitat were evaluated. These locations have the framework in place for supporting habitat, but are not of high quality. Generally, vertical layering was lacking and improper plant choices.  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  High value- low, medium, high shrub levels  Low valuemonoculture, no food value  N  Vertical + Horizontal Stratification Diagram http://www.avianweb.com/forestgardens.html  9  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment Where Do We Go From Here?  Habitat- Vertical Stratification                                                                                       It is important to understand the concept of a layered forest garden when designing areas for high quality animal habitat. Vertical and horizontal layering is important to provide protection from predators, breeding grounds, and food source at multiple heights for different types of animal. Each vegetative layer increases biodiversity and offers important benefits for wildlife. It is important to note that this concept does not only apply to forest areas. Understanding this concept and applying it to all scales of design will increase sustainable animal habitat and in turn increase aesthetic value for human use and appreciation. Safety is often an issue when planting in vertical layers, but selecting be beneficial.  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  VS  http://www.envirothonpa.org/documents/VerticalForestStratification.pdf                                                  -Protection from Predators, place for breeding, food source •               -Native plants  offer   high  quality food source and lower maintenance requirements -Choose berry, seed, nut, and pollen producing plant species -Opportunities for water  -No understory -No groundcover -No diversity -Low animal habitat value -Done for human safety?  10  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Hawthorne Place Water Systems  The Hawthorne Place neighborhood is located in what is known as the “west watershed” of the UBC campus. This neighborhood covers a large piece of the watershed, and therefore has a large impact on the water quality and quantity. This water is carried from the Hawthorne Neighborhood, south through the eastern research section of the UBC Botanical Garden, under Marine Drive and into a stream which carries the water through the garden and to the watershed outflow at Trail 7. Currently the water is piped underground until it crosses Marine Drive. The proposed water system on the map at the far right would increase inflitration and bring the water out of the pipes and back to the surface, also known as “daylighting streams.” Increased infiltration and daylighting streams are the two primary recommendations for water on this site.  Proposed Water System  Existing Water System  Proposed Surface Drainage Proposed Subsurface Drainage Hawthorne Boundaries Existing Surface Water Possibility of Infiltration  Subsurface Drainage Hawthorne Boundaries Existing Surface Water Possibility of Infiltration  N Benefits of Daylighting Streams:  West Watershed Hawthorne Place Outflow to the Strait of Georgia  N  Methods to Increase Inflitration:  Habitat Value  Educational Opportunities  Permeable Pavement  Increase Organic Matter in Soil  Infiltration & Aquifer Recharge  Ease of Problem Solving  Green Roofs  Rain Gardens  Increase Recreation Opportunities  Slowing Runoff Velocity  Increase Vegetation  Dry Wells  Increase Property Values  Water Purification  Increase Leaf Litter Layer  French Drains  11  University Neighborhood Association Open Space Assessment  Rebecca Colter - Ivy Chen - Nicholas Sinkewicz -- LARC 543  Where Do We Go From Here?  Conclusion  Is improvement possible? YES! The framework for sustainable open space in terms of people, animal habitat, and water is in place at Hawthorn Place in the UNA. A few simple changes can improve and enhance the space to simultaneously act as high quality human environment as well as a high quality wildlife habitat with clean water and rich biodiversity for learning and living.  12  

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