City of Kelowna Roadside Bioretention

The City of Kelowna is looking at new ways to use green infrastructure to manage water on roadways.

Rather than typical curb-and-gutter systems used along most Kelowna roadways now, the City will replace them with bioretention bump-outs (curb extensions) and bioswales.

Instead of water flowing into stormwater drains, it will slowly filter back into the ground.

The cost, over an 80-year timeframe, will be substantially lower, according to City staff. A 70-lot case study showed that construction, maintenance and renewal over that timeframe would cost $1.8 million, compared to the $2.4 million cost of the traditional approach.

The City’s Development Cost Charge and zoning bylaws are expected to be updated in 2021, providing an opportunity to integrate green infrastructure policy and design into those plans.