Green Rainwater Infrastructure in the Sunset Community

Our project is to understand residents’ attitudes towards the green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) project in the Sunset Community through surveys and interviews. It further seeks to establish a relationship between biophilic elements of the project and wellbeing, including feelings of belongingness and connectedness to nature. We hope that results will highlight the importance of GRI practices for the future of Vancouver.




Faculty of Arts


Collaborative Cohort Project


  • Carolyn Veldstra

City of Vancouver:

  • Matt Gibbs
  • Cameron Owen

Student Team:

  • Jiaqi Yao
  • Yingqiu Kuang
  • Maria (Joey) Manaligod
  • Francis Kobekyaa


  • Rain City Strategy


Green rainwater infrastructures (GRIs) are a crucial component of the Vancouver Rain City Strategy and a sustainable method of rainwater management. While it affects people’s daily lives, the usually underground nature of the GRI projects poses a challenge for the public to understand and appreciate its environmental significance. This project centering on the newly built bioretention practice (rain garden) on Prince Edward Street in the Sunset Community investigates residents’ awareness of bioswale sites, as well as their understanding of the relationship between GRI projects and the natural environment, inclusion, and overall wellbeing. The results of the project could then shed light on rain city strategies for the future. The project is informed by the biophilia literature, which suggests that people’s inclination to become interconnected with nature plays an important role in physical and mental health (Kellert & Derr, 1998: 63). Studies also show that accessing “nearby nature” on a regular basis provides the same benefits (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Kuo & Sullivan 2001; Wells, 2000). To examine residents’ attitudes on the GRI renovation and its biophilic impact on the community, our team is taking both a quantitative and qualitative approach through surveys and interviews conducted across a diverse demographic. The survey assesses residents’ daily activities around the rain garden, as well as their feelings towards GRI projects in the community. The interview seeks to understand residents’ appreciation of nature, emotional attachment to the green site, and their willingness to interact with the rain garden on Prince Edward Street and nature as a whole. The interview also provides a platform for people from equity-deserving groups to provide feedback on the inclusiveness of the GRI project in the community.

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