WALLED OFF: Re-imagining the Stanley Park Coastline

We’re excited to share the master’s thesis of our newest staff member Ali Canning.
Ali, a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, was invited by the City of Vancouver to present this thesis to the Park Board.

Ali Canning - Thesis : Re-imagining the Stanley Park Coastline

WALLED OFF: Re-imagining the Stanley Park Coastline
Thesis Project: Ali Canning

With the need to adapt to changing climates and emphasis on protecting valuable coastal habitats, this thesis researches ways in which Vancouver can reimagine its connection to the marine environment. Intertidal landscapes provide disproportionately high levels of ecosystem services, making coastal and estuarine landscapes some of the most valuable on earth. However, our city is currently divided from its aquatic habitats with the beloved, but environmentally damaging seawall. Created to protect Stanley Park from erosion, the seawall is an iconic symbol of Vancouver with millions of people coming to visit it each year. However, rising tides and increasingly frequent storm events threaten its integrity and require constant maintenance and repair. With environmental pressures growing and future predictions calling for a new coastal adaption strategy, there is an opportunity to reimagine the interface between land and sea and increase resiliency within the park. Using design solutions based in both ecology and social awareness, landscape architecture can be used to redesign shoreline areas into multifunctional landscapes that restore marine habitat, are resilient to future change, and provide a place for people to reconnect with our oceans.

Due to its high vulnerability to storm events and inland flooding, the final design focuses on the landscape from Ferguson Point to Second Beach. A dynamic park is created allowing users to explore island marsh boardwalks, meander through sand dunes and investigate tide pools. With an integrated nature house and varying trail networks, this project creates a stimulating landscape that strengthens our relationship with the coastal environment we treasure.

Read the full dissertation

Ali Canning - Thesis Ali Canning - Thesis : Re-imagining the Stanley Park Coastline Ali Canning - Thesis

Growing Green in Metro Vancouver

Grow Green is a guide to creating and maintaining sustainable gardens and lawns using non-invasive, readily available plants in Metro Vancouver. The website provides a searchable database of plants that thrive in our local climate, without needing lots of water or chemicals. For people with lots of yard space or only a few containers, Grow Greens is all about selecting the right plant for the right place.

Grow Green Plant Guide screenshot

Working in collaboration with Metro Vancouver and UBC Botanical Garden, LEES+Associates created Photoshop renderings to help everyone from novice gardeners to landscape industry professionals visualize the potential of their outdoor space. Students from the Horticulture Training Program at the UBC Botanical Garden are now turning the five most downloaded planting schemes into reality. Below is the future site of the Grow Green demonstration gardens.

Future Site - Grow Green demonstration gardens

The top five most downloaded planting schemes:

5. Delicate Delights
Delicate Delights - Grow Green

4. Made in the Shade
Made in the Shade - Grow Green

3. Timeless
Timeless - Grow Green

2. Hey Bee-Bee
Hey Bee Bee - Grow Green

1. Fountain of Colour
Fountain of Colour - Grow Green

Check out the Grow Green Guide and don’t forget to share and provide feedback!

Komagata Maru Memorial in the Fall

Komagata Maru Memorial in the Fall

We took a stroll recently to admire the changing autumn foliage at the Komagata Maru Memorial. This project involved a monument design to commemorate a 1914 incident that witnessed 376 passengers from India escorted out of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour aboard the steamship Komagata Maru.

Steel panels, set within the surrounding landscape, simulate the ship’s hull with small openings to reflect the cascading waves of Vancouver’s harbour. A centrally located glass panel provides a historical narrative of the incident for visitors, and presents a poignant historic image from a tragic day in Canadian immigration history.