By Brownyn Scott
Published: July 20, 2013
The ideas and vision of UBC landscape architecture students will mesh with district plans for Squamish.
Students presented their theses to staff and council in May, and their yearlong effort focused on making Squamish a more effective place to live.
Landscape architecture is an interdisciplinary study, and it draws from ecological, cultural and economic forces, said graduate Pietra Basilij.
The projects range from small scale, low cost interventions with potentially bigger impacts to large scale projects with holistic transformations for the town, said Basilij.
Her project was the development of a community based process focusing on the design and development of the downtown core.
Keeping the overarching goals of the community in mind, she developed low cost solutions that make use of existing community talents, skills and resources.
One such issue she addressed is the district’s desire for trees lining the downtown streets.
“That’s a huge infrastructural undertaking, very high cost and high involvement,” she said.
She suggests using a vacant lot as a community-run nursery for growing trees, so that as infrastructure is being replaced, the trees are available at a low cost.
Other student projects are more ecologically focused, some are culturally or socially oriented and others concentrate on transportation.
Paul Peters’ project, for example, was vastly different. It looked at landscape infrastructure for flooding, promoting festivals and events and also better connecting Squamish, he said.
Their work is the culmination of their Masters of Landscape Architecture education.
“Our highest ideal is to provide ideas and inspiration to the community,” said Cynthia Girling, chair of the landscape architecture program.
The district is working on compressing the massive project files to make them available to the public on their website.