Hydrosheds is an interactive simulation that depicts landscape relationships between an urban community and a virtual ecosystem within a small watershed. Different landscapes can be generated to show how variations in vegetation, urban density and permeable surfaces affect stormwater runoff, soil absorption and pollution. The urban landscape can be changed with viewer interaction over time, demonstrating how cumulative changes in surface conditions can affect watershed dynamics. This interactive project also includes climate variables that affect the digital landscape, allowing viewers to visualize impacts of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and heat waves.
With an artistic approach to engage viewers with nature based solutions to climate change, Hydrosheds presents approximations of ecological relationships for the general public. Rather than operate as a scientific simulation, Hydrosheds is created as a relational simulation, where viewers can experiment and explore how different variables affect urban watersheds. This interactive artwork fosters viewers to develop an imaginative mental model of complex ecological systems that exist within urban settings.
Hydrosheds is an artwork commissioned by Engage with Nature-Based Solutions, an initiative to support communities who apply nature-based solutions to their local lands and waters.
To learn more about Engage with Nature-Based Solutions, visit: https://www.engagewithnbs.ca/