Garden City Lands is 136 acres/55 hectares of undeveloped land in the heart of Richmond. Protected under the agricultural land reserve, this unique low-lying wetland was home to a rifle range in the early 1900s and later to communication towers for the National Coast Guard, but historically has been mostly unused. Now it is being reimagined as a park amenity with four distinct functions: urban agriculture, natural environment, community wellness, and active living, and place-making creating a multi-functional landscape.
We combined feedback from the City, the public and engaged urban agriculture and bog experts into a balanced but buzz-worthy design strategy that celebrates the site’s history and supports ecological conservation while integrating urban agriculture, play opportunities, passive recreation, and imaginative public art.
In designing the master plan, we faced the challenge of creating complementary spaces for two very different impressions of the land—agriculture and remnant bog—both of which are synonymous with the City of Richmond. By necessity these two impressions have to be separated, so we approached the problem as a yin and a yang—linking the landscapes via a series of curving pedestrian pathways and view corridors. By guiding visitors through the space, the design encourages them to learn about both the ecological importance of the bog and sustainable agricultural practices. Planned gathering spaces and demonstration plots make this a living lab that fosters community spirit and educational moments. Plans ensure it retains its role as a thriving habitat and significant carbon sink for Metro Vancouver.
Though still under construction, there is incredible public interest in the project and this unprecedented design. The City of Richmond foresees the project as a great legacy for the public to enjoy.
City of Richmond
Kerr Wood Leidal
Cityspaces for Public Engagement