The third in the 2006 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series was co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. Three roadway projects were showcased: the Country Lanes Demonstration Project and Crown Street Streetscape & Fish Habitat Enhancement Project in the City, and the Sustainability Street Project at UBC.
During the summer of 2003, the City of Vancouver constructed three “Country Lanes” as part of a demonstration project to evaluate more sustainable alternatives to regular lane paving. The Country Lane Demonstration Project has also been recognized throughout the Lower Mainland, Canada and internationally with requests for design data from many cities and municipalities. The project has also been an overwhelming success in terms of community involvement and education.
Breaking new ground at the University of British Columbia, the initial phase focuses on revolutionary closed-loop systems – the world's first systems integrating rainwater runoff, wastewater treatment and ground source heating, and a small-scale biodiesel production unit which will transform waste cooking oil into a clean-burning fuel. The project is an educational resource that will evolve over time.
The City of Vancouver has undertaken an exciting new approach to residential street design and rainwater management. Vancouver's Crown Street has become the city's first Sustainable Streetscape. The design uses innovative ideas to integrate transportation into an environmentally sensitive setting. The Sustainable Street demonstration project has provided a design that can be used as an inspiration or template for future street improvement projects.
“The Consultation Workshop held in conjunction with the Water in the City Conference provided a timely opportunity to test and validate an approach that can bridge the gap between talk (interest) and action (practice)in advancing a water-centric approach to community development,” stated Eric Bonham.
The early success of the Water Balance Model in British Columbia, particularly in promoting an understanding of how to achieve a light ‘hydrologic footprint’, generated interest in expanding the focus of the tool to reach a national audience. The province of Alberta, being British Columbia”s eastern neighbour, was approached by the British Columbia Inter-Governmental Partnership in August 2004 to form the first inter-provincial partnership.
The issue of how to accommodate a doubling of the population in the high growth regions of British Columbia is the driver for implementing changes in the way we develop land and use water.
The Credit River watershed is in one of the most rapidly urbanizing parts of Canada, adjacent to the Greater Toronto area and includes parts of the municipalities of Mississauga and Brampton. The Credit River Water Management Strategy (CRWMS) is aimed at ensuring “abundant, safe and clean water” now and in the future for both the people and wildlife within the Credit River watershed.
Reducing Negative Affects of Urban Development will be the focus of Cochrane Low Impact Development Conference
“LID is a practical and cost-effective approach to reducing and/or better managing the impacts of urbanization on our landscape in order to leave a better place for our children and grandchildren,” stated Bert van Duin. “The urban environments that we can build for them using LID will be healthier, more sustainable and use less natural resources then the ones we grew up in. “
A number of British Columbia municipalities have embraced the concept of “sustainable streets” and have recently completed flagship projects. The City of Vancouver's Crown Street has the highest profile as the result of a $1.4 million investment in road reconstruction along a three-block stretch in the City's Southlands, an older neighbourhood.