2017 Annual WASLA Conference

Spokane Convention Center, April 21, 2017
One Day, Dynamic Sessions, Ultimate Location



1:30-2:30 PM
Hidden Hydrology as Ecological Inspiration: Exploring Buried Creeks and Disappeared Streams as a Tool for Regenerative Planning and Design Strategies


This presentation will focus on current work related to Hidden Hydrology in urban areas (www.hiddenhydrology.org), a project of mapping, on-site exploration, and proposed interventions focused on establishing and enhancing connections to urban nature and ecology.  Using 1850s-era Cadastral survey mapping, and a range of other source material and precedents, the project explores historical hydrological and ecological systems in the context of ‘disappeared streams’.  These streams, creeks and other water bodies were originally present throughout the urban realm but have since been piped, filled, and removed through urbanization over the past century and a half.  A process of mapping these pre-development hydrological systems, using historical maps and archival photography, allows transposition of hydrology onto the current urban spatial context. Explorations of these sites provide additional context, with visual documentation providing a collection of latent hydrological cues, topographic traces, and ecological remnants that remain. These processes provide the inspiration for interventions through site scale interventions, ecological planning, site-scale art, environmental storytelling, tours, and self-guided interactive explorations. The goal of the project is to use the juxtaposition between the historical hydrological systems and the modern urban realm to highlight, inform, and connect residents with urban nature – past, present, and future.

Lead Speaker:

Jason King 

Speaker Bio:

Jason has 19 years of experience in landscape architecture with a focus on ecological site design, sustainable storm water, and landscape urbanism. He has studied and taught innovative research-based solutions for green infrastructure, low-impact development and green roofs and has conducted research to expand the role of the landscape architecture profession utilizing site scale, neighborhood, and regional regenerative strategies. Jason has a BLA and a BS in Environmental Design from North Dakota State University and studied in the doctoral program at Portland State University.

Learning Objectives:
  • Gain an understanding of resources and tools for designers and planners in researching and mapping historical ecology and hydrology in urban areas.
  • Understand the connections between historical and predevelopment hydrology and ecology and how these influence design and planning opportunities and constraints.
  • Develop a thorough knowledge of design typologies along a continuum from artistic and design interventions through daylighting and ecological restoration.
  • Apply design and planning principles that integrate urban nature and maximize potential for resilience and integrated green infrastructure solutions.



Where History Meets Nature

Spokane Convention Center
Spokane, WA