Vancouver delta

Like many world cities, the city of Vancouver is founded at the border of sea and land with on one side the mountains of the Rocky Mountains and on the other side the Salish Sea and the delta of The Fraser river. Just like other cities, Vancouver needs to deal with the consequences of nowadays climate change. The city needs to deal sea level rise and at the same time with a larger discharge of water due to heavier and more frequent rain showers. The dike system of the Fraser river is not prepared for these changes and therefore need to be reinforced to guarantee safety. The conventional way to ensure future safety is to further raise the dikes, but this will negatively affect the relation between the land and the water and will lead in the future for extra problems (piping). Therefore, the city of Vancouver is searching for innovative solutions to reinforce the dikes of Vancouver and meanwhile strengthen the relation between land and water.

The desired paradigm shift from a single technical approach into an integrated spatial approach makes it, in the eyes of Flux landscape architecture, worth to study the dike reinforcement challenge using the ‘Dutch approach’. With the Dutch Approach climate change challenges are studied on the scale of the whole delta and linked with other spatial developments like urbanization and nature development.

In this research Flux studied the possibilities to link the dike reinforcement with other spatial challenges and opportunities in the Fraser River Delta. Thereby positioning the possible solutions always on the scale of the whole delta in order to prevent the spatial fragmentation of the water defense solutions along the Fraser River. Flux will collaborate with the University of British Colombia, in order to link the Dutch approach with local knowledge on the Fraser River Delta. Flux also invited LOLA to conduct one of the other case studies to stimulate the knowledge exchange between the Netherlands and Canada.

Vancouver, Canada, commissioned by City of Vancouver, co-financing Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie. I.c.w. UBC Vancouver, Royal Haskoning, LOLA Landscape Architects, landscape architecture, dike reinforcement, water safety, nature development, design research, 2018