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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Tatlow Creek revitalization project Milley, Susan Olucia


My project deals with one of the greatest resources on earth: water. Increasing populations and land development requires increased responsibility to preserve and enhance natural hydrologic processes as much as possible. But most often, current development and engineering practices do not recognize this growing responsibility, as urban water courses have been buried and / or culverted beneath the ground. Rainwater has been given an "out of sight out of mind" treatment as it is funneled into vast and expensive sewer system networks which leads to expensively and unnecessarily treated water, and destroys the natural recycling process of the hydrological system which recharges our water resources. One method of regenerating the hydrological system is by revealing, or 'daylighting' buried streams, and by implementing measures which will sustain them in their complex urban contexts. Streams within the Greater Vancouver area were once common. Now few streams remain in this urban landscape, and fewer yet are healthy enough to support their once-thriving fish habitats. Healthy streams and their environments create diverse habitats for animals and plants, create pathways for movement in the larger landscape, reduce flooding of larger water bodies and reduce the amount of water being unnecessarily treated with sewage. Furthermore, streams give character and identity to the landscape and foster in people a greater sense of ecological recognition, community pride, value, and stewardship. My research is based on my belief that by re-introducing streams back into our urban fabric and designing effective stormwater design strategies to sustain them, we can greatly enhance and benefit both the ecological environment as well as our city communities. My thesis presents a model for daylighting Tatlow Creek; an urban stream in the Greater Vancouver district of Kitsilano. This model strives to: 1) Daylight Tatlow creek North under Point Grey Road, through Volunteer Park and into English Bay 2) Naturalize the riparian area 3 ) Restore the creek's base flow by suggesting short and longterm strategies for infiltration throughout the Tatlow Watershed. Tatlow Creek presents a unique opportunity in which to propose a viable system of green infrastructure which thoroughly integrates an urban park with its medium-density urban context. This system designs for a strategically planned and managed network of green spaces and corridors interconnected with an existing urban environment, which supports native flora and fauna, sustains water resources and natural hydrological processes, and contributes to the health and quality of life of the community. The district of Kitsilano currently possesses many positive aspects of sustainable ecological design, and as such presents a favourable practicability for adapting and retrofitting these with a long term design strategy for its entire watershed. This would then eventually connect with an expanded green infrastructure network throughout the greater Vancouver region.

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