York House School • Reimagining the Arbutus Greenway
Grade Two students at York House School engaged in a six-month project to reimagine a sustainable design for the Arbutus Corridor that serves the needs of the community and environment. Students learned how the people influence the environment in local communities, how the environment influences people, and how this, too, has global consequences.
The Arbutus Corridor is an 11 km long strip of land that runs between False Creek and the Fraser River in Vancouver, BC. This land was purchased in March by the City of Vancouver from the Canadian Pacific Railway limited and is being considered as a potential greenway. The City is initiating planning discussions on potential designs for this land based on community needs and wants.
The York House Grade Two Students were involved in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math) project to develop a practical, responsive, plan for the redesign of the corridor by using a ‘Design Thinking’ approach. This involved gathering information through research and interviewing stakeholders about their needs and wants. Students also built empathy for the potential users of the greenway, as well as local citizens and stakeholders. Students generated design ideas based on needs and wants, as well as build prototype designs. They tested and shared their design concepts, and reflected on the input they received in order to refine their design concepts for final presentation, potentially to Vancouver City Council or planning staff. Ultimately, the students painted hundreds of rocks bright, vivid colours and wrote messages concerning the environment on them. The work, which will be installed on the Arbutus Greenway, is a way to bring awareness to local environmental issues and the connection to the world.