UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Old gas stations - new fuel for environmental awareness Man-Bourdon, Alexandre


According to Environment Canada, across the country there are currently over 1400 abandoned gas station sites that are contaminated. Unbeknownst to local residents, many of these sites are undergoing remediation. Temporary interventions called remedial landscapes can be designed by landscape architects to communicate to the public the remediation activities, which are otherwise hidden from view. Environmental psychologists note that pro-environmental behaviour stems from increased awareness of environmental degradation. Furthermore, by presenting first hand information in the form of a landscape, people can make their own decisions concerning their role in unsustainable practices. This thesis posits that by experiencing remedial landscapes, people will change their environmental attitudes and or behaviours. Remedial landscapes also offer opportunities for public art and further exploration of alternative forms of remediation. It includes not only precedent studies of other remedial landscapes, but a public perception survey concerning a gas station undergoing remediation in Kerrisdale, Vancouver. The survey indicated that the remediation of contaminated sites is a community concern and that the remediation should be made more visible. Participants also agreed that the use of a designed landscape would be a viable tool for communicating the status of the site. This research informed a set of design guidelines for the Kerrisdale ‘test site.’ A remedial landscape has been designed using these guidelines and is included as part of the thesis.

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