The main climatic impact that this project aims to address is increased urban runoff and water quality concerns as a result of increasing precipitation and extreme precipitation events. This climatic impact is exacerbated by the prevalence of impervious surfaces throughout the region and ongoing changes in land-use which converts previously pervious surface to impervious. Increased overland flooding is the main risk associated with heavy precipitation and has many impacts on the local socio-ecological system (e.g., damage to infrastructure and private property, human health and safety concerns, and aquatic ecosystem health concerns). There are also opportunities to achieve co-benefits as part of climate action projects that address water, including improvement of green infrastructure, urban forest and neighbourhood aesthetics. In addressing this issue, the City of Brampton installed its first bio-filter swales along County Court Boulevard as part of planned road resurfacing in 2014. The integrated project was able to access new funding and draw on existing budgets, demonstrating a strategic financing model and interdepartmental coordination. The primary role of the bio-filter swales is to collect and clean storm water run-off from County Court Boulevard before it enters the Etobicoke Creek.
Initiated in 2014, the County Court Bio-Filter Swale project is a demonstration of how Low Impact Development (LID) can be integrated into planned road resurfacing practices and represents the City of Brampton’s first bio-filter swale to be initiated by the municipality. The primary role of the bio-filter swales is to collect and clean storm water run-off from County Court Boulevard before it enters the Etobicoke Creek. The project showcases co-benefits of climate action, as the feature also provides an aesthetic and urban forest enhancement in the public realm. The integrated project was able to access new funding and draw on existing budgets, demonstrating a strategic financing model and interdepartmental coordination.
Located in the City of Brampton’s south end, the bio-filter swales were built on County Court Blvd, within an older neighbourhood that is home to about 5,800 people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. This was initiated as a demonstration project of the County Court Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan, part of TRCA’s broader SNAP program. County Court SNAP is a comprehensive environmental improvement plan that integrates local community interests into urban renewal and climate action, with implementation of cross cutting projects and programs underway.
The project included design and construction of two lined bio-filter swales within the road right-of-way of County Court Boulevard, a medium traffic collector road that is adjacent to the large County Court Park, and services residential and institutional areas in the neighbourhood. Project partners include: City of Brampton, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP), Partners in Project Green (PPG) and Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Program (SNAP), Region of Peel, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Fletchers Creek Senior Public School.