SUSTAINABILITY street: an interpretive signage experience – the street becomes the sign.

Acknowledgements: Rhonda Gill, Space 2 Place Design Inc., Robert Smithson - Spiral Jetty, Photo credit: Nine Köpfer.

  • Copywriting
  • Environmental and Signage Program
  • Graphic Systems
  • Visual Identity Program


This high-profile project was conceived and developed to showcase sustainable thinking and practices. It seemed incumbent that any signage and permanent communications for the passerby should too, echo sustainable thinking and avoid predictable signage outcomes. Focussing on the user’s experience provided the means for how to bring content and messaging to the visitor and a signless street was introduced.

By positioning messaging in the ground, the street ‘became’ the sign. The communication evolved into a unique urban poetry for the pedestrian and new materials such as recycled glass were introduced. Coming together for the World Urban Forum, the project went on to receive many accolades including two national design awards: A National Award of Merit and the Silver award from the Design Exchange Awards presented by the Globe and Mail.

Design Exchange Awards – Globe and Mail
Silver Award — Sustainability Street — 2007

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects – CSLA
National Award of Merit – Sustainability Street — 2007


Sustainability Street is an incredible achievement. You deserve our gratitude for taking this project so seriously and being so committed to the intent of demonstrating sustainability.

It has truly been an accomplishment on the design firm to develop this street. Congratulations on so successfully implementing the communications component of this project. I wish to to extend my gratitude to you, your hard work and dedication to the vision of UBC sustainability street.

Freda Pagani, Diana Foldi
UBC Sustainability, Campus Sustainability Office