Alberta St Blue Green System and Columbia Park Renewal

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This photo of a rain garden next to a bike lane near Sunset Park is an example of what could be propose

We want to hear your ideas for a proposed blue green system along Alberta St and West 43rd Ave, as well as for the renewal of Columbia Park.

The Cambie Corridor is growing and so are the demands on its drainage and sewer systems, parks, streets, and public spaces.

To provide critical servicing for the neighbourhood, the Alberta St Blue Green System and Columbia Park Renewal Project will explore innovative ways to enable growth while responding to the impact of climate change on our sewer and drainage systems.

A blue green system is an engineered solution that uses soil

We want to hear your ideas for a proposed blue green system along Alberta St and West 43rd Ave, as well as for the renewal of Columbia Park.

The Cambie Corridor is growing and so are the demands on its drainage and sewer systems, parks, streets, and public spaces.

To provide critical servicing for the neighbourhood, the Alberta St Blue Green System and Columbia Park Renewal Project will explore innovative ways to enable growth while responding to the impact of climate change on our sewer and drainage systems.

A blue green system is an engineered solution that uses soil, plants, trees, and parts of the street to manage and treat rainwater more like nature. These systems enable growth by displacing rainwater that would otherwise overwhelm the City’s overburdened pipe system, and instead, allow this water to be filtered through the soil, cleaned of street contaminants, and absorbed into the ground or returned to the atmosphere through evaporation. In addition, these systems improve public spaces and enhance habitat and biodiversity, while creating opportunities to improve how people get around by walking, biking, and rolling.

The Alberta St Blue Green System and Columbia Park Renewal project is also looking at ways to create stronger connections between Columbia Park, Oakridge Centre, and Queen Elizabeth Park for both people and wildlife. In the future, this ecological corridor could reach all the way from Queen Elizabeth Park to the Fraser River.

This project aligns with the Cambie Corridor Community Plan, VanPlay: Vancouver’s Parks and Recreation Services Master Plan, and the Rain City Strategy, which aims to improve and protect ­­­­water quality, enhance resilience and improve livability through healthy urban ecosystems.

Green rainwater infrastructure for a growing neighbourhood

In the neighbourhood surrounding Columbia Park and Alberta St, rainwater and wastewater from our homes are conveyed in one pipe. These combined pipes are too small to accommodate the future multi-family housing and jobs envisioned in the Cambie Corridor Plan. Pipe upgrades and better ways to manage rainwater are needed to reduce the risk of flooding and sewer overflows during rain events. Blue green systems will help to maintain or improve the drainage system, while improving the neighbourhoods’ climate resiliency.

In a natural system, rainwater would be absorbed into the ground, flow into a network of streams or be absorbed and returned to the atmosphere through soils, plants, and trees. Urban development disrupts this natural water cycle. Rainwater flows across pavement and rooftops, picking up pollutants that are then led to our waterways through pipes.

A “blue green system” brings nature into the city, by creating opportunities to capture and clean street contaminants from our rainwater before returning it to our atmosphere, surrounding oceans, and rivers. This approach mitigates the pressure on the pipe system and therefore enables growth while connecting parks and ecological areas with park-like corridors that work with the natural flow of rainwater in the city. These connections can provide opportunities for habitat, biodiversity, rainwater management and amenities to support walking, biking, and rolling.

Renewal of Columbia Park

Columbia Park is an important part of the Alberta St blue green system and a key public benefit priority for the Cambie Corridor Plan. Improvements are required to meet the current and future needs of this growing community, including updating aging amenities, expanding uses, and creating more welcoming park spaces. By including space for green rainwater infrastructure, the park can continue to support a variety of uses while providing benefits of increased biodiversity, enhanced habitat, and greater access to nature in the park.

How can you get involved

If you live, work, or play near Columbia Park, we want to hear your ideas for Columbia Park and the Alberta St blue green system. The schedule for engagement is as follows:

Vision and values – Fall 2021

Concept options – Spring 2022

Preferred concept – Spring 2023

Ways to get involved

1. Read the project overview and background information boards

A set of information boards that provide a brief project overview and important background information are available in PDF format. You can find them under the "Document" section.

2. Share your feedback

Tell us how you use the park and street spaces and what is important to consider in the upcoming design process. Complete the online survey by October 21, 2021.

3. Keep in touch

Sign up with your email address to receive project updates and notices about future opportunities to have your say.


If you live, work or play near Alberta St and Columbia Park, we want to hear from you.


Page last updated: 22 October 2021, 00:00