2004 Consultation Workshop about “Model Subdivision Bylaw & Green Infrastructure Standards” was the launch event for British Columbia’s Green Infrastructure Partnership

According to Chuck Gale, "For the purposes of articulating what we wish to accomplish over time, our short-term and long-term efforts will be guided by the following Mission Statement: the Green Infrastructure Partnership will provide leadership by developing practical tools and instruments for green infrastructure design practices and regulation, and by encouraging their application in BC."

FLASHBACK TO 2004 CONSULTATION WORKSHOP: What is “Green Infrastructure”?

“Using a narrow interpretation, green infrastructure refers to the ecological processes, both natural and engineered, that are the foundation for a healthy natural and built environment in communities,” wrote Deborah Curran. “Municipalities using the green infrastructure as an integral part of how development occurs find that it is often less costly than hard infrastructure, and also offers aesthetic, environmental, health and recreational benefits.”

FLASHBACK TO 2004: “Judge progress by the distance traveled, not the distance remaining,” stated Kim Stephens at Consultation Workshop for “Model Subdivision Bylaw & Green Infrastructure Standards”

“We have come a long way in just four years. Our experience in bringing the vision to fruition for the UniverCity Sustainable Community on Burnaby Mountain provides relevant context. It was not that long ago that the project was hanging by a thread. We have been successful in overcoming fear and doubt," stated Kim Stephens. “In 2000, translating high expectations for UniverCity into practical design guidelines meant revisiting accepted drainage engineering practice."

2007 Beyond the Guidebook Seminar: Move from awareness to action and implement ‘green solutions’ that actually protect stream health, urged Green Infrastructure Partnership when federal and provincial agencies framed expectations in launching the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative

“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”

FLASHBACK TO 2003: Urban Forum at UBCM Annual Convention introduced local governments to “CitiesPLUS” and “Water Balance Model” initiatives (Sep 2003)

The two-part UBCM Urban Forum session explored new tools and innovative approaches that local governments can use to make communities more liveable and sustainable. “In part one, the citiesPLUS team showed delegates the winning plan and also looked at lessons learned and insights gained that communities across the province can learn from,” stated Ken Cameron.

UBCM Urban Forum: Moving Toward Sustainable Urban Development in British Columbia (Sep 2003)

“The combination of the two presentations was quite powerful,” stated Surrey Councillor Marvin Hunt, Forum Chair, in his closing remarks. “Because the Guidebook and Water Balance Model presentation was about on-the-ground action, it showed how to make the 100-year vision real to BC’s elected representatives. The take-away message is clear: If communities design with nature, the 100-year vision will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

In 2003, the Inter-Government Partnership called on BC politicians to embrace water balance thinking and “Design with Nature” at the Union of BC Municipalities Urban Forum

"With release of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia in 2002, the Partnership set out to change the way land is developed in BC,” states Ted van der Gulik. “Our mission is to influence the culture in the local government setting. From the start, we have had high-level political endorsement and support. Notably, in September 2003, the Union of BC Municipalities provided us with a platform to tell our story.”

Designing with Nature in British Columbia – a presentation to local government elected representatives on “Walking the Talk for Sustainable Community Design” (Sep 2003)

Mayor Barry Janyk (Town of Gibsons), Dipak Basu (City of Chilliwack) and Kim Stephens (Inter-Governmental Partnership) tag-teamed to tell the story of the inter-governmental partnership that had developed the Water Balance Model as an extension of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. "In the interactive session, it was clear that our story had resonated with my fellow elected representatives. They got it!," stated Barry Janyk.

VIDEO: “Collaboration is essential and must cross all political and community boundaries, for climate change is no respecter of such creations,” stated Eric Bonham

“Future planners, engineers, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism and be able to frame the issue of achieving water-resiliency in communities against the backdrop of an unpredictable water cycle. This in turn demands the honing of a further skill, that of working together towards consensus, commitment and collaboration," stated Eric Bonham.

VIDEO: “We have the tools and understanding to implement ‘Water Balance’ actions, restore watershed health and build resilient communities,” stated Kim Stephens

"Drought, forest fires, floods and pine beetle in 2003 created a ‘teachable year’ for change in BC. This gave BC a head-start on many other regions. The outcome? A decade later, provincial ‘game-changers’ are now in place that enable solutions in the local government setting," stated Kim Stephens. "The three game-changers are Develop with Care 2014, the Water Sustainability Act, and Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework."