The Frog Dilemma: Urban Stream Restoration and the Nature/Culture Dialectic

Lenore Newman, Ann Dale, Denver V. Nixon


Stream daylighting projects are highly complex and require prolonged cooperation between multiple agencies and collaboration between diverse actors. Given most of these projects are quite expensive and require extensive effort in a very small area, a “frog dilemma” emerges in which the ecological benefits might seem to not justify the resources required. However such projects can bring significant ecological, economic and social benefits to urban areas, and aid in challenging the nature/culture divide. Two stream daylighting projects in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada are examined, the partnerships needed to bring the projects to completion are explored, and the long term outcomes and prospects of the projects are investigated. Both projects required public/private partnerships, high levels of community agency, and the more successful of the two projects includes an ongoing monitoring and education program.


Urban stream restoration, sustainable development, urban nature, social environmentalism, urban ecology

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