Tuesday, June 26, 2012
reviving old streams (Detroit)
Ever since I saw the daylighting project that Ecocity Builders did in California, my dream has been to be part of a team that daylights a stream. This type of work doesn't happen too much. As in the Ecocity Builders project, a parking lot was being decommissioned so there was an opportunity. What daylighting entails is taking a stream that has been routed underground (through pipes) and reintroducing it at ground level, which means you have to have the area/space to allow the stream to burble and gurgle across a stream bed, through rocks, around bends and along a stream bank.
Ultimately this means more green and less grey (yeah!) but it's hard to redesign a space and take away infrastructure if it is needed.
I was talking to a teacher at the end of the semester about my dream to daylight and how it is very hard to find potential projects and all of a sudden it came to me - the opportunity in Detroit - so many empty properties, so much change... so I googled for it and found that other people are realizing the how promising their situation could be: Detroit Officials are looking into "daylighting" Bloody Run Creek.
There was also this link to a Masterplan Memorandum about the potential for Urban Stream Restoration in Detroit: which "provides a description of urban stream restoration, identifies the benefits and challenges to restoration and the application of this information to a specific area in the City of Detroit.
And here's a Mahalo article about Daylighting Streams that provides an example of a completed project.
Image from: Landscape Online