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Showcasing of Green Infrastructure Innovation in British Columbia

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY: “The structure is set up to support good ideas of an integrated nature so that staff can flourish in the work environment,” stated Stephen Richardson, the Township’s Director of Development Services


“Anticipating and responding to growth requires nimbleness on our part,” stated Stephen Richardson. “Technical teams input to long-range planning. There is a constant feedback loop. We raise the bar each time through an iterative process. This strengthens standards of practice. The continual enhancements are reflected in our neighbourhood plans. It is a team approach. Staff share and learn from each other.”

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GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY: “Our integrated process results in a better community. In turn, this attracts people who want to be here,” stated Dave Cocking, Manager of the Township’s Green Infrastructure Services Department


“The infrastructure we build today is integrated. We recognize that each part is a component of the whole. We strive to make all the parts work together without compromising any component,” stated Dave Cocking. “Working together, we are solving community design issues. We have a shared goal – improve the community and provide amenities. This requires integrated thinking.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2003: “Home Depot established a BC precedent when it implemented a deep deep-well system for injecting rainwater runoff,” stated Kevin Lagan, formerly Director of Operational Services with the City of Courtenay


“In 2003, the Home Depot development application in the City of Courtenay was to build a store and parking lot covering 90% of a four hectare second growth coniferous forest property,” stated Kevin Lagan. “The City required that post-development rainwater and stormwater flows leaving the site were equal to or less than the pre-development flows. For this property that was effectively zero.”

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“A presentation many years ago by Patrick Condon put me on the path to integration. Patrick’s storytelling made me realize that everything we do has an effect somewhere else,” says Ramin Seifi, General Manager, Engineering & Community Development, Township of Langley


“When the previous General Manager of Engineering retired in 2011, our Chief Administrative Officer listened when I presented the case for doing both jobs – Engineering and Community Development,” stated Ramin Seifi. “The Township needed more integration to respond to the demands on infrastructure and the risks to the environment resulting from rapid population growth. Achieving integration depended on the Township having a better structure.”

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A focus on Green Infrastructure Services embeds ‘green culture’, spurs innovation, in the Township of Langley


For the past decade, Township staff have been learning and adapting, and their hands-on experience is reflected in HOW implementation of Langley’s rain garden program has evolved in successive development areas. “We are learning by doing. In this way, we refine expectations for the finished product. The designs are more refined and the level of coordination for rain garden design and construction has improved,” explained Yolanda Yeung.

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FLASHBACK TO 2006: Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series launched in Metro Vancouver


“The Showcasing Innovation Series is a provincial pilot. When we talk to practitioners in local government, it doesn’t matter what the region, the message is the same…they tell us that they are too busy to communicate with their colleagues in neighbouring municipalities. Yet the irony is that there is much to learn by sharing information with each other. At the end of the day, it seems that it takes a third party to bring people together,” said Paul Ham.

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Vic Derman’s Natural City: Three Lenses to Shape the Urban Future


At the third and final event in the 2008 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series, Councillor Vic Derman of the District of Saanich elaborated on his vision for The Natural City. He posed the question: “What do we want this place to look like in 50 years, and how will we get from here to there?”

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