Restoring Musqueam Watershed

Restoring Musqueam Watershed

An exploration of landscape design strategies through a portion of the Musqueam Watershed, where three creeks flow. The project aims to improve stormwater management in order to address downstream flood risk, water pollution and climate change while enhancing habitat. A series of proposed blue-green infrastructure strategies speculate on how to restore natural hydrologic processes to enhance the resilience of the watershed.

School:

UBC

Department:

SALA

Course:

LARC 581B

Instructors:

  • Kees Lokman

City of Vancouver:

  • Cameron Owen

Student Team:

  • Emma Gosselin

Strategy:

  • Rain City Strategy

Summary

This project attempts to address how landscape architecture can promote a more resilient urban watershed. The adoption of blue-green infrastructure and nature based-solutions in the city has been on the rise to replace aging stormwater infrastructure systems that pose multiple environmental problems.

This project seeks to imagine ways to meet the objectives in the City of Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy of reducing water pollution, reducing the volume of rainwater entering the pipe system and increasing permeable area that treats urban rainwater runoff. This project builds on these objectives by exploring a range of design strategies that can collectively create a resilient watershed system. The study site, Musqueam Watershed, includes Pacific Spirit Regional Park and three creeks, and it intersects five jurisdictions. Musqueam Creek is one of the last salmon-bearing creeks within the city and one of only two remaining visible streams in urban Vancouver.

The objective of this project is to understand the existing stormwater flow patterns and to identify and explore design opportunities to improve stormwater management for the watershed. The natural water cycle in the Musqueam Watershed is disrupted by roads and over-efficient stormwater drainage infrastructure. Paving on Imperial Drive and Southwest Marine Drive causes habitat fragmentation in Pacific Spirit Regional Park and contributes polluted runoff from vehicles. Stormwater is being drained from the park and directed into pipe systems, which disrupts the ecosystem and hydrology, and can contribute to downstream flood risks in the Musqueam Reserve under extreme rainfall events.

Through a series of green infrastructure design strategies, the final project will explore and visualize how natural hydrologic processes can be restored. Specifically, it will explore options for mitigating flood risk and water pollution while enhancing habitat.

  • Restoring Musqueam Watershed
  • Restoring Musqueam Watershed
  • Restoring Musqueam Watershed