Hydrogeomorphic Adjustments in Urban Channel Restoration Projects

Padovan, Patrick
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University of Guelph

Urban streams are frequently the focus of restoration efforts due to extensive degradation and land use change caused by urban development. After construction concludes, short-term monitoring is a standard step in evaluating restoration success. However, typical monitoring processes are rarely able to fully capture adjustment mechanisms, as geomorphic processes can take decades to stabilize. This study assessed the performance and adjustment processes that occurred within urban stream restoration projects along Highland Creek, a heavily urbanized area in the east end of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Aerial photograph analysis (1999-2015) and design element surveys were used to analyze planform stability and assess current design feature conditions at differing spatial and temporal scales, along six restored reaches. Findings show that restored reaches continue to experience adjustment 15 years post-construction. This thesis informs restoration project assessment, and furthers our understanding of design element adjustment following construction in challenging urban landscapes.

River, Restoration, Urban, Hybrid, Highland Creek, Stream, Adjustment, Assessment