November 16

Dear Division 16,

You have been doing such great thinking and writing about our Hydrosphere project!  For your assignment this week, please take a look at the website here:

That website refers to a project that was started near Mount Pleasant Elementary School in East Vancouver, and quite close to Dickens!  Take a look at the homepage and also at the “roads to rainways” tab, the “rainway toolbox” and the “imaginings” tabs, whcih are full of great information and visions of a different, more natural Vancouver.

You will see examples of other River Daylighting projects including the Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, Korea, which you will remember from the video “Lost Rivers”.

In your post, please answer BOTH of the following questions:

  1. What factors would you need to consider before starting a project like the St. George Rainway? What issues would you anticipate and how would you solve them (for example – parking, housing, cycle routes)?
  2. What benefits would a project like the St. George Rainway create for your neighbourhood? What features do you think would improve your neighbourhood and how?

I look forward to your responses



  1. den10@sea43

    #1 one factor that you would have to look at is that there might be things covering the water so it would be harder to get the water out. Also if you do get it out you could think of what else could we be using this water for like maybe you could keep this water in a safe place somewhere so if there is a drought or a drought then we have some extra water.
    #2 well it would definitely help Vancouver be one of the greenest cities by 2020. Also it would make water more acceptable to animals and birds to bath in.

    • dickensdiv16

      den10@sea43, I really like your unique perspective that the water is being kept safe underground. I had never thought of it that way, kind of like a savings account! I agree that animals and birds will definitely appreciate having access to fresh water.

  2. Amethyst

    #1 Where you could put the stuff you’re planing to place, how much space it would take up, how much money it would cost or if it even will cost any money and will you have to get rid of something or tear it down. Well the problems could be well as you said, cars, houses or it could be, roads/ highways and big buildings. How you could solve those things are, you could move the buildings and houses somewhere else and tear down the highways and build a new one or just move it with a crane.
    #2 For my neighbourhood the benefits would be well obviously make it more green, it would be more colorful/ more beautiful. Well it does have a lot of trees already but it could use more flowers. It would improve my neighborhood because well as I said before it would make it more green, more colorful/ more beautiful but also it could make it more welcoming as in it being colorful also it would make it really an important neighborhood because it would be a really green neighborhood which is important for the whole world to be more green.

    • dickensdiv16

      Amethyst, I agree that there will definitely need some things to be moved, and there will certainly be a cost. Do you think that we would have to relocate many houses or do you think that we could daylight the river by simply removing the road? Greening is an important process for all of the plants, and it sounds like it would make you very happy as well!

  3. PG Dinosaur

    What factors would you need to consider before starting a project like the St. George Rainway? What issues would you anticipate and how would you solve them (for example – parking, housing, cycle routes)?

    The first thing that you would need to consider is the people living near the affected area. The population has to be committed to keeping clean waterways, otherwise a river might just become polluted. A solution to this could be installing a trash wheel, like the one in Baltimore Harbor. When building beside roads, things like gravel and salt might get into the water supply. Certain plants have been proven to clean water, such as in Fish Fry Lake in Billings, Montana. These planters could be planted along the rivers to help keep them clean.

    You’d have to consider carefully if the water could be contained, and if it might flood nearby houses during rainy weather.
    What benefits would a project like the St. George Rainway create for your neighbourhood? What features do you think would improve your neighbourhood and how?

    A rainway would help create community because people would have a place to come and be together. My neighborhood has lots of community, and a rainway would provide a handy meeting place. A rainway would provide a natural storage place for when it rains so the street wouldn’t flood. This happens a lot in Vancouver. Hopefully, it would make people think more about nature and stop them from polluting, and being beside nature might improve people’s moods.

    • dickensdiv16

      PG Dinosaur, this is a very clear and thoughtful response. You’re right to identify that it’s not enough to just bring the water back to the surface, but that it needs to be protected. You’ve done some great research here on ways to keep the water clean in ways that are sustainable. I also agree with you that the people who live along the rainway have to be considered. You’ve brought in some of the ideas from the “Lost Rivers” video as well. Well done!


    #1 I would have to consider housing issues like loss of property that might happen there also might be less parking available which might cause some trouble. There also can be more blocked up traffic in rush hour and just in general. The way I would solve these problems is that I wouldn’t cut into others property’s I would just make the area smaller instead. For parking I would ask for the area to be per-mint parking only so that the people who live in the area only get to park there.
    #2 I think that this would create bit of a bigger community for my neighbourhood and would have a more openness to the whole area could create a some great friendships with your neighbours. I think that this would create a friendly and kinder area with a lot more people outside with babies in strollers and dogs as well as some people reading the nature.

    • dickensdiv16

      Each of these things you’ve listed is really important to communities and the well-being of Vancouverites. I love your characterization of the changes as creating more openness. I agree that more public, shared space can only help bring people together in new and interesting ways!

  5. Crazychicken lover

    #1 You should consider espiacally the traffic because it depends alot on how efficient and consistent it is to get through traffic so that people can go home easier. Another big factor is the pedestrian sidewalk and how they can make it beautiful but safe and easy for all cyclists,cars, and people.

    #2 It would help the community think more greener like and more positive so that they can think the world more positivly than usual. It would help the roadways if they flood it can go into that river and everyone will be happy and safe and there can be lots of green neighbourhoods.

    • dickensdiv16

      Crazychicken lover, efficiency is a really important concept whenever you’re thinking about traffic and transportation. It’s always great if you can make something that is both beautiful and safe. How do you think this could happen?
      Thank you for connecting your learning from the video about how rainways can help with flooding situations!

  6. xaxo6 04

    #1 Firstly I would make sure that the road was fairly quiet so I don’t have to divert traffic and so after building, the cars wouldn’t rub away the artwork on the street. Also to help improve it as a quiet street I would only let bikes onto the road. To compensate for the pollution that may leak into the stream/pond I would only let cleaners into the water and I would place a fine on polluting it.
    #2 I think only letting bikes through would improve living and having a nice place to relax. I may put it in the park I live near so I don’t increase problems in traffic and its pace. Which might be a slow pace if lots of cares come to the 1 way street.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great, xaxo6 04, your description sounds a bit like the greenway behind Tupper Secondary! I like the idea of combining green transportation with the rainway. I would also love a rainway near where I live, as I agree that they will contribute to a nice shared relaxing place for people to meet.

  7. balloongirl123

    1 There are multitude of legal issues to think about when it comes to starting your business. Everything from your business name to its structure to its operation has legal implications.

    2 The St George Rainway project is a a community driven initiative that seeks to recall a historic waterway in Mt. pleasant.

  8. super cheese cake

    #1 There might be some problem like a tree covering the pond, so there will be leaves in the pond or there could be bugs and mosquitoes in the pond. There could be bugs flying around the neighbourhood and that wouldn’t be cool. I think we should change the water once a time so it doesn’t get so foggy and gross. Or we could just put fish inside and it will eat all the larva. If there is a drought or something else that water isn’t available, we could just plant some plant inside instead of putting water in it.
    #2 It can help Vancouver looks greener from the plane and in Vancouver no matter where, air will always be so fresh and clean or maybe smells sweet!!! Every one might want to go out often because the streets will be so beautiful and green.

    • dickensdiv16

      super cheese cake, you’ve pointed out a great way that plants and animals work together when they are surrounded by a natural, healthy habitat! I agree that people will spend more time outside if there are welcoming natural places for them to visit!

  9. baconguy

    #1. Some of the problems that people might have to think about before making rainways could be parking for the people who live on the street that they are making it on and getting to those houses in general. Hopefully they would check with the people who own the houses about it first before making the rainway.
    #2. The rainway project in our neighbourhood would be good because it would make it look a lot more natural. It would also give a peaceful scene next to a noisy road if it was on our street (I live next to fraser street). However it would be a bit of a problem since a lot of people turn off of fraser and it would be hard to reverse back onto the street because it is so busy. But a good feature it would have for our neighbourhood would be that it would be safer for bicycles because their would be less cars driving because of the road block.

    • dickensdiv16

      baconguy, parking is an important consideration for neighbourhoods. What kind of consultation do you think ought to be conducted with residents? I agree that a change such as a rainway would be significant for a neighbourhood. I imagine after a while, everyone would get used to it and make changes.

  10. Rouge

    #1 I think that there might be the encountered problem of replacing a busy street that people use on their way to or from work that may cause some issues to stir up. To solve this problem I think that the workers making the greenspace should do a study in advance on what the busiest streets are and how to avoid blocking peoples transportation areas. Another problem would be putting a green space on an undiscovered water source underground, resulting in blocking that water from use. To avoid this problem the people could do research on what water ways go through the area that they are planting and building on to make sure they don’t block the fresh water. I also think in advance you should plan out: where its going to go, how much space it will take up, how much money it will cost, and who it will benefit.
    #2 I think that the natural plant and water spaces would create a healthy and “green” environment for people living in the community around it and the birds and animals living there as well. It would ensure a safe and clean habitat for animals to live and sleep. It would also create a place to bring family and friends together in a new and green way. I also agree that it would definitely help Vancouver reach its goal of greenest city by 2020.

    • dickensdiv16

      Rouge, you’re right! Planning is super important for any significant change. I do think that people can adapt but changes to neighbourhoods need to be well planned and involve lots of consultation!


    #1: I think that if the city of Vancouver wanted to uncover a water way that goes underneath structures in the community then they should maybe think about giving money to people that will lose their houses. Also roads will have to be re-routed so cars can pass through the area too. The only problem is that this would cost a lot of money for the city of Vancouver to work on and do deconstruction.
    #2: I think that having an uncovered waterway will make it so communities are united and children can play in the water, while adults chat, and there can/will be a lot of neighborhood picnics and barbeques and people meeting each other will make it so then neighborhoods will be more safe and happy. Because when neighbors talk to each other their is less crime.

  12. smeagaleater10

    1# There are many different factors you need to consider before starting a project like the St. George Rainway project. For example the Mount pleasant citizens agreeing with the idea, construction costs, what is going to happen to the sidewalks in the area or house accessibility by vehicle. Most of the issues would be hard to solve but some are easy like sidewalks, the people who are making it would just not include the sidewalks in the demolition.
    2# The features of the St. George Rainway would benefit many citizens in my neighbourhood by more exposure to a natural environment. Also it will provide more space for animals and insects that causes a more natural food chain in the area. It will also help Gregor Robertson’s promise for Vancouver to be the greenest city by 2020.

  13. smeagaleater10

    1# There are many different factors you need to consider before starting a project like the St. George Rainway project. For example the Mount pleasant citizens agreeing with the idea, construction costs, what is going to happen to the sidewalks in the area or house accessibility by vehicle. Most of the issues would be hard to solve but some are easy like sidewalks, the people who are making it would just not include the sidewalks in the demolition.
    2# The features of the St. George Rainway would benefit many citizens in my neighbourhood by more exposure to a natural environment. Also it will provide more space for animals and insects that causes a more natural food chain in the area. It will also help Gregor Robertson’s promise for Vancouver to be the greenest city by 2020.

  14. the DUDE

    I think that one of the problems with doing this would be if your friend lives near the creek and you have to drive there. A rainway would bring people to the neighbourhood and it would make things very ecological. I also think that it would make the block look very beautiful. However, a rainway would take up an insane amount of space. Lots of people in the neighbourhood might not agree with the idea. The “lefty” people would like it. I think it would have a positive effect on the ecosystem, animals, biosphere, and sort of the vibe of the place. Overall, I think this would be a good idea because it would really shape the community, sort of label it, and make it known for having a rainway.

  15. Ginger

    If I were to create a Rainway, before I started building I would talk to a team of city planners, environmentalists and neighbours about the different factors that could cause harm or change to the lifestyles of the inhabitants. One of the major things we would talk about is the animals and birds who would be attracted to live near it. This change would bring wildlife to the city that typically doesn’t live in the city – we would have to make sure that there was minimal pollution and chemicals coming into the greenway through floods or littering. Also, the City of Vancouver and Mayor Gregor Robertson have been trying very hard to make Vancouver bike friendly and this could complicate their vision as we could be closing streets, putting more vehicle pressure on bike routes. I think that any Rainways made should be bicycle and wheelchair accessible by having boardwalks or paths. Some of the other things we would need to consider are loss of parking, access to houses, construction access for new and renovated houses, fire and emergency vehicle access, homeless people living in the Rainway, and vandalism, to name a few.

    I think that the St. George’s Rainway could help to build a stronger community – in the summer, everyone could get together and have picnics, and in the winter, the neighbourhood children could go out and build snow-people. People could also help keep the greenway beautiful by planting new plants, picking up garbage, raking leaves and repairing boardwalks. All of these things would encourage people to meet each other and create connections between neighbours. I think that having good neighbours who will lend you a cup of sugar when you need one is a very important part of a community.

  16. Pandatush

    #1. You would need to think about where you put it and how it affects everyone. Consider the pros and cons. If the cons are really effective, maybe rethink it. But if it’s a small problem, still try and rethink it a bit. Everyone should be able to benefit from this. If traffic is a problem, try picking a new area. If it’s likely that it could get polluted by sewers, find a different place. I think in small neighbourhoods where traffic is low, it would be a perfect spot.
    #2. If this were to happen in my neighbourhood, it would be great. When you pass it the scene would be beautiful. People would be able to socialize there and would be a a great way to show how beautiful nature really is. From looking at the pictures and the before and after, it would be amazing if this was around the world. It just shows how one idea could bring together some much in one picture.

  17. Iron lanturn

    #1 you would have to consider many things like people on the side of the street would have to have garages connecting to the other block or they would have to car pool.
    #2it would make the community very fun and good for the envoirment I can imagine playing in that stream….but if we had all of that across vancouver we will be the greenest city in the world!!!

  18. crazymemeslol123

    #1 I think when we like changing our neighborhood into like that we can have like a public neighborhood pool where everybody like has fun with each other and parents would be relaxed like every year they celebrate the river or creek .

    #2 I think it would be wonderful if we cleared cement roads to get our lost rivers underground to pop up again …and if we cleared all of the cement we can have a lot of fresh rivers everywhere in our city and we might be the greenest city in canada or even the world.

  19. Purple Pickle

    I think this would be great to build in Vancouver, it would also add to the cities plan to make Vancouver the greenest city on earth by the year 2020, but it would most likely cause tons of problems for homeowners who live near the area were they plan to build it (or grow it) people will complain about the Rainway being built were they always park there car or were there favourite cycling route or maybe it cutting into there property all of these could be resolved easily by simple just making an edge on the side of the (used to be) road and that would be the cycling route and just simply not expanding the Rainway onto property but they wouldn’t be able to really resolve the parking issue, I guess they would just have to find a different place to park.
    Some benefits including the Rainway in my neighbourhood would are: it would encourage kids to go play outside in the Rainway instead of staying inside and playing on a screen the whole day, it could really help with the environment by encouraging people to get around by walking instead of driving, the city could obtain a higher tourist count because of them wanting to see the Rainway, and as i said it could really help with Vancouver goal to become the greenest city in world by 2020.

  20. Joaquin

    #1) First they will have to make sure it won’t create traffic jams and that it is in the right place where it is accessible for all no mater what, I think it could affect parking in the area as well- making hard for people to find spots and housing prices will be raised by a lo too because the area will be more popular.

    #2) I think it will probably bring a lot of people to my neighbor hood because where we live is really quiet and people don’t really talk to one another, I think it will bring my neighborhood closer together because right now my hood is like a ghost town where no one talks to anyone.

  21. The Baconator

    To create something like this you would have to really think through everything about the project such as how it would look like, the material and if it was environment friendly for all species. If there was a flaw it would most likely fail depending on what went wrong and it would become different than what it was thought to look like it. To solve these problems I would tell everyone about it and hold a vote.
    It would be a land mark for people to come look at and would be a place for families to spend time around. It would be great for the environment and since everyone would know they could spread the news and maybe people will recognize and make a change in the world

  22. Soccerboy123ABC

    #1 I think that the first things that might become problems are the accessibility of people getting to and from there house, there might be traffic jams,it will be harder to bike because if they put the green spaces were there was a high percentage of bikers coming through it will cause them to go much slower and might cause traffic issues .I also don’t think they should put them in three way intersection because it will cause people to go a different way and if its a dead end it will be really hard for them,they should also spread out were they put them.
    #2 I think that it will bring a lot more publicity to where they are put and there might be more tourists around and that might help the economy around that area. It will also encourage a lot more people to get out side and walk,bike,and just be outside in general . It might help Vancouver to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.

  23. Sr.Fruitcake

    #1 I think that some problems you would encounter when trying something like St.George rainways project would be that you would get a lot of complaints around what they would do to park and drive. The images of the imagined area show some significant changes that would be required. The people living there would have to have many different solutions I am trying to think of them and failing right now so it would clearly task a lot of thinking over and negotiating.
    #2 I think that a project like that could help in a lot of ways including providing a place for kids to play. It is also more pleasing looking for the passer by on top of being greener and better by a long shot than the pavement there now. I would see about the same in the upsides and downsides of this project that would overall (in my opinion) be worth it. I hope the project does happen and that it is success I could see it being a big part of the street’s community.

  24. TechNerd

    I highly disagree with this project, It will conflict with so many things, If we had one way streets and these things in the middle of Streets and Boulevards, Do you know what would happen? Lots of people will be angry and will be angry at this especially drivers. I also feel that some house owners may be angry as this may be built infront of their house and what if they don’t get parking infront of their house because of this construction? I am sure you all agree that we would have a lot of angry people. Drivers pay thousands of dollars every year to pay to drive their cars on the street, not to have really small one way streets that they may not be able to drive in because of stress that the street is to small. Also if there are multiple cars on that street and there all heading back because of a dead end and there is lots of cars parked what will happen? a Traffic jam, which will make all the homeowners cars stuck and they wouldn’t be able to get out because there is so much traffic and that would therefore interfere with there lives.

  25. DancingPorcupine

    1. You would have to consider who it effects because it could make it more difficult for someone to live in the city. You could solve this problem by having a survey for the people that this might effect.
    2. Some benefits that this could have are that it would make it more beautiful because there would be more nature and it would make people more aware of the importance of taking care of nature.

  26. The Bean

    #1 this sounds like a really cool project and I’d love to see it happen but I could imagine a few problems with this idea. Firstly if the community isn’t behind the idea it could result in them misusing the rain-way and having the whole thing polluted. They are planning to include a one way road but there would be helpful, but this place would be right in front of a school and would take up driving and parking space. then they would have nowhere to park. It would make the surrounding houses harder to get to and make garbage/compost routes difficult as well
    #2 Since this is in front of a school this would also be really great for student to enjoy after, before and during school. Having a nice outdoor space like this one would encourage people to be out in their community and meet new people. I would hope that it would also stay cleaner then other parks because if people have such a nice place near where they live they will want to keep it cleaner.

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