Monitoring the St. George Rainway Co-Benefits

Vancouver

Monitoring the St. George Rainway Co-Benefits

Assessing the co-benefits of the St. George Rainway green rainwater infrastructure project. Our plan focuses on monitoring the mitigation of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and the rainway's impact on biodiversity. We propose using fixed and mobile temperature sensors to monitor UHI. For biodiversity, we suggest the use of rapid biodiversity assessments, quadrats, and citizen science to monitor changes.

School:

SFU

Department:

Environmental Science

Course:

EVSC 400

Instructors:

  • Tara Holland

City of Vancouver:

  • Julie McManus

Student Team:

  • Kim Nguyen
  • Ian Russell
  • Savannah Shirley
  • Aubrie Verleur
  • Anson Wong

Strategy:

  • Rain City Strategy

Term:

Spring 2021

Summary

Our project focuses on assessing the co-benefits of the St. George Rainway green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) project. Our plan focuses on monitoring the mitigation of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and the rainway’s impact on biodiversity. We propose using fixed and mobile temperature sensors to monitor the UHI. For biodiversity, we suggest the use of rapid biodiversity assessments, quadrats, and citizen science to monitor changes.

This project is part of Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy, which is a city initiative to develop GRI projects for rainwater management. Our project can be used to quantify the success of the Rainway and help encourage further implementation of other GRI projects throughout Vancouver.

Our assessment and monitoring framework aims to quantify the co-benefits created by the Rainway, to show how the surrounding area has improved. Throughout this project, we found that measuring these co-benefits is complex and despite the use of numerous methods in other projects, many are inadequate for the St. George Rainway. Therefore our proposed monitoring plan focuses on a combination of methods that can be used effectively to collect and analyze Rainway data. The data collected on the co-benefits can also help researchers infer how human health will be impacted. These impacts could be direct or indirect and may not be immediately recognized. Therefore, we recommend that our data collection methods are implemented before the Rainway on St. George Street is constructed, and continued in the years to come in order to understand the long-term effects of the Rainway after human intervention.