PEI

Flood threat could be managed with Charlottetown parks

A professor of urban planning from the University of Waterloo has come up with a strategy that will help Charlottetown deal with the effects of climate change.

Charlottetown downtown vulnerable to floods in heavy rain

Urban planning professor Luna Khirfan hopes to present her proposal to City of Charlottetown officials soon. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

A professor of urban planning from the University of Waterloo has come up with a strategy that will help Charlottetown deal with the effects of climate change.

Luna Khirfan believes four parks situated around the downtown core of the city could be used to channel water away from sensitive infrastructure. The four squares — Kings, Hillsborough, Connaught and Rochford — are part of the original historic layout of the city.
Under Luna Khirfan's proposal a system of ditches would connect four downtown Charlottetown parks, directing water away from the downtown. (Luna Khirfan)

"You would have ditches that connect the parks and allow the water to float between them," said Khirfan.

"So instead of the water pooling in areas where you don't want it to pool, and heritage becoming more vulnerable, you are actually more managing the water runoff between these four parks."

Already large areas of the downtown flood in heavy rain.

Khirfan said walking paths through the parks could be raised so even when there is a lot of water flowing through the area, the public can still use the space.

Khirfan devised the plan while during a trip to P.E.I. with students in the spring, and presented them at the Building Community Resilience conference in Summerside last week.

The City of Charlottetown has not been presented with the proposal yet, but Khirfan hopes to have the opportunity to do that soon.

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