New Westminster Pier Park
New Westminster, British Columbia
Photo Credit: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects
Research by: Nicole Brekelmans
Edited by: Samantha Miller
Case study compiled in 2019
Project: New Westminster Pier Park
Type of Urban Strategy: Water, Ecological Infrastructure, Industrial Landscapes
Type of Project: Waterfront Park and Habitat Rehabilitation
Location: New Westminster, British Columbia
Date Designed/Planned: 2009
Construction Completed: 2012
Designer: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects and Worley Parsons
The New Westminster Pier Park is a 3.8-hectare waterfront park that runs along the Fraser River (PWL, n.d.). The park plays a major part in the city’s long-term masterplan of reconnecting the waterfront to the downtown core by creating additional public spaces that focus on New Westminster's rich heritage while integrating sustainable and ecological design strategies (PWL, n.d.). The project focuses on extensive site remediation to remove existing contaminants while enhancing wildlife habitats to increase fish and bird populations (Archdaily, 2014). Additionally, the pier park reuses and repurposes many of the materials that were apart of the previous boardwalk and site, to further connect to the waterfront’s industrial past, while also reducing waste and energy during the construction process (Future Landscapes, 2018). The main goal of the project is to reclaim the downtown and the waterfront to transform them back into the economic and community hubs they once were (Morphet, 2012).
The New Westminster Pier Park has been highly successful through receiving multiple urban design and sustainable design awards long before the park was completed in 2012. The park has also become an excellent example of ecological infrastructure as well as a project that reconnects its city centre to water. The project provides the public with ample opportunities to experience the Fraser River through various spaces such as an elevated viewing dock, festival lawn, and accessible pedestrian and cyclist paths. The habitat enhancement and groundwater remediation to reduce contaminants are excellent examples of the many strategies implemented within the project to create a sustainable park that blends the site’s social and ecological processes together.