LID and Green Infrastructure in Alberta
Date: October 19, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Creating a sustainable community or project site commences with sustainable land use and an understanding the bioregions and/or ecosystems that set the context. A sustainable design approach integrates the flows and structures between the natural world and built environment at every level of scale - transforming mechanical to organic and grids into ecosystems. Achieving a connection between the built environment and nature has become increasingly difficult in many of the projects we undertake. Much of the time, we neglect the opportunity to preserve and incorporate some of the natural aspects of the project site. Planning and designing a project site is a front end loaded process. The earliest decisions have the greatest influence over what the project site could be. Site selection and design are of critical importance and yet many project sites are designed as if there was no site at all. So just imagine if sites were looked upon as living spaces and we designed these project sites to compliment and respect their surroundings. The stripping of land would cease to exist - replaced by walk-able cities, vibrant communities, and sustainable living all in sync with nature.
One of the initial tasks to be undertaken with any new project development is to understand the biophysical interactions that impact the site and the experience of the user at a variety of scales. This analysis is informed by the contemporary landscape ecology, and it addresses the interactions between geology, topography, hydrology, soils, plants, animals, the land and human use. A thorough understanding and appreciation for these relationships can lead to a powerful, ecologically grounded design. It can also lead to short and long-term social and economic aspects of sustainability as well.
The LID and Green Infrastructure in Alberta session will be formatted to provide project insight into LID and green infrastructure applications for all those interested – the general public, municipal staff, developers and professionals. The session focus will include the importance of establishing an ecologically grounded planning and design approach; the fundamentals of LID and green infrastructure in Alberta; techniques in storm water management that have been applied to various scaled public and private development projects; the ecological interactions specific to Alberta and how they have been addressed; examples of techniques that have been successfully applied to Alberta based projects; and an emphasis to promote more LID and Green Infrastructure in Alberta.
David Brown, BLA., AALA., FCSLA, McElhanney Division Manager, Landscape Architecture
Andy Heath, P.Eng., P.E. McElhanney Division Manager, Infrastructure