Design challenge brings together art and science to help change how Vancouverites think about sea-level rise

Our world is transforming. So is our journalism. This story is section of Our Changing Eartha CBC News initiative to exhibit and describe the results of climate alter and what is becoming done about it.


During an celebration earlier this thirty day period, writers from 4 coastal cities — Vancouver, New York, Mumbai and Tokyo — typed out their thoughts about the prospect of soaring sea concentrations.

Their text had been projected on a large display in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, and a youth choir sang them out to the public.

In addition, a photography job on exhibit showed how residents picture they may perhaps be impacted by mounting sea concentrations in and all over Wrong Creek.

The choir and photography were part of an party marking the stop of the initial phase of the Sea2Metropolis Layout Obstacle, a Town of Vancouver project that aims to appear at how the metropolis can adapt to increasing sea levels — specifically in the False Creek floodplain — and tackle the social, economic and ecological impacts coastal flooding will have in the future.

Pay attention | CBC’s Johanna Wagstaffe on the Sea2City Design Challenge

9:37Climate CHANGERS: A style and design problem to aid offer with sea degree increase

Sea stages are growing in response to local weather modify. For coastal communities, that implies planning today for what tomorrow could convey. CBC’s Johanna Wagstaffe delivers us the tale of the Sea2City Layout Challenge in Vancouver.

Angela Danyluk, a biologist and senior sustainability officer with the city, says art can be a great way to link with the general public on the concern of weather modify.

“You don’t want to know all the stats guiding weather adjust, but you do know how you sense about your romance with the coast,” Danyluk reported. 

Danyluk described the Sea2Metropolis Style Problem as a helpful levels of competition between two style and design groups that started very last September.

When it arrives to adapting to sea-amount increase, Danyluk says, designers typically think in one particular of 3 methods: resist by keeping h2o away, accommodate by permitting drinking water in in accordance to chance tolerance, and avoid by having out of water’s way altogether.

But changing the language all-around sea-stage rise can help persons assume differently about their partnership to the water, she suggests.

“‘Resist’ became ‘acknowledge’, ‘accommodate’ turned ‘host’, ‘move’ and ‘avoid’ grew to become ‘restore’ — restoring our relationship with the h2o, the land and with every single other,” she explained.

Chuck McDowell of Mithun+A single, a single of the groups participating in the challenge, says their types were deeply affected by discussions with Indigenous cultural advisers and expertise keepers, who spoke of how the land was at the time akin to a “common grocery retailer” filled with plant lifestyle and sea daily life.

He says there are a good deal of troubles that need to be tackled to deliver again that purely natural myriad, this kind of as watershed issues and the need to implement green infrastructure.

Angela, a white woman with long black hair, stands in thigh-high water and holds up some dirt.
Angela Danyluk, a biologist and senior sustainability officer with the City of Vancouver, says the challenge hopes to modify the language all over sea level increase. (Metropolis of Vancouver)

“You can find a great deal of work to do to make it transpire, but bringing again that idea of natural abundance is definitely important to us,” McDowell said.

Danyluk says now that the very first stage of the design project is total, they hope to current two to three pilot tasks that can be implemented in False Creek in excess of the upcoming four to 10 many years.

She says the metropolis can appear throughout Burrard Inlet for inspiration. 

“It is really funny, we all go to the North Shore on the weekend to be in the forest and it really is full of cedar trees,” she reported. “Why are not able to we have cedar trees listed here in the town?” 

Hear | How ready is Vancouver’s False Creek for sea-amount increase?

On The Coastline7:39Sea2Metropolis Layout Obstacle

How completely ready is Bogus Creek for sea amount rise? We’ll hear from two people today driving the “Sea2City” Style Obstacle. It really is an worldwide group tackling the difficulty of potential flooding. Margaret Gallagher met up with two team customers, Begonia Arellano with the Delterra…and Dutch firm that specializes in h2o administration, and Derek Lee is principal at Vancouver’s PWL Landscape Architects and a “Sea2Metropolis” workforce direct.


Local weather transform is a person of the most pressing issues of our time. In B.C. we have witnessed its impacts with fatal heat waves, destructive floods and rampant wildfires. But there are people today who are fully commited to taking meaningful strides, each significant and smaller, toward building a superior long term for our earth. People folks are featured in CBC’s series The Local climate Changers, generated by CBC science reporter and meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe and associate producer Rohit Joseph, which airs Wednesdays on All Points West, On The Coastline and Radio West on CBC Radio A single and on CBC Vancouver News with features on cbc.ca/bc

Sharon Eva

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