“Urban climate resilience - a case study in Charlottetown”
Jul 29, 2020
Dr. Luna Khirfan, University of Waterloo
“Urban climate resilience - a case study in Charlottetown”

Research interests

  • Urban stream daylighting/deculverting
  • Community climate change adaptation
  • Community engagement, participatory planning, and urban governance
  • Knowledge transfer and mobility
  • Historic preservation and cultural resource management


Dr. Khirfan’s current research project investigates the potential of daylighting (or deculverting) urban streams and the consequences of covering (culverting) them.

Empirical studies abound on the ecological consequences of covering and uncovering urban streams such as, the hydrological effects (e.g. runoff and flooding) and geomorphological impacts (e.g. rise in temperatures and decreased fish habitat). Yet, there is a dearth in studies that address the links between urban stream daylighting and climate change adaptation and mitigation, and also, the enhancement of the public realm. Therefore, Dr. Khirfan’s research project draws on landscape ecology, urban morphology, and urban design theories to investigate the potential of urban stream daylighting at three interrelated levels:

  1. The macro eco-system level where daylighting urban streams may contribute to offsetting water scarcity in arid climates as a climate change adaptation response;
  2. The meso urban morphological level where daylighting urban streams intersects with the complex issues of urban development including, the political economy of place production as well as the improvement of mobility (public transit, cycling, and walkability to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions as a climate change mitigation measure at; and
  3. The micro place-making level where urban stream daylighting intersects with place representation as well as with the creation of the public realm and how the involvement of the local communities in the decision-making processes may be deployed to ameliorate the quality of life

Source: https://uwaterloo.ca