AT 2007 BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK SEMINAR – British Columbia Ministry of Community Services announced that "Today's Expectations are the Standards of Tomorrow"

Note to Reader:

The Beyond the Guidebook Initiative is aligned with the Province of British Columbia’s grant programs and has helped define desired regulatory outcomes. In November 2007, the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar provided the Province with a platform to introduce and showcase a phased approach that would leverage change over time. The sound-bite for this approach is “Today’s Expectations are the Standards of Tomorrow”.

2007-Beyond-Guidebook-Seminar_expectations & standards

‘Made in BC’ Educational Approach

Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, the Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP) rolled out Beyond the Guidebook at a seminar hosted by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in November 2007.

Beyond-Guidebook_Chris-Jensen_Nov-2007Because the Ministry of Community Services was on the GIP Steering Committee, the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar provided a timely opportunity to inform local government and land use practitioners regarding the emerging policy framework and senior government expectations for applying a Beyond the Guidebook approach to land development and watershed management.

The Ministry’s Chris Jensen explained the regulatory and legal framework that is guiding the Province. His presentation was structured in two parts: Education; Financial Incentives.

To Learn More:

Download a PDF copy of Integration of Rainwater Management and Green Infrastructure: The Province’s Perspective, the PowerPoint presentation by Chris Jensen. For the purposes of establishing a relevant frame of reference for rainwater management and green infrastructure, Chris Jensen opened his presentation by providing a contrast with Washington State.


A Long-Term View

“In BC, we have come to the realization that prescriptive approaches stifle innovation. By telling people how far they must go, that’s as far as they go. They don’t go much beyond what is required for an approval. This is the story that we are hearing from people in Washington State,” stated Chris Jensen.MCS 10 - chris jensen

”In BC, the approach that we are taking is to set the goal. As a result, we are seeing people in local governments leapfrogging each other to see how close they can get to the goal,” continued Jensen, “Our observation is that people are not stopping at the numbers on the page and saying ‘well, we have met that criterion’. Rather, they are often going above and beyond what is required.”

Jensen added that the Province made a conscious decision to create change through practitioner education, and after a decade this approach is now paying dividends.


A Road Map for Leveraging Change

After providing the audience with the highlights and examples of provincial grant program, Chris Jensen then described how the Ministry is using the Green Communities Initiative to advance green infrastructure province-wide.

Chris Jensen_2008_120p“We are slowly raising the bar for local government,” stated Jensen, “For example, we are saying show us what you are doing to protect stream health.”

Jensen also emphasized that the Ministry is providing cash awards to recognize the efforts of local governments in achieving design with nature outcomes.

In his closing remarks, Chris Jensen made it clear to his audience that: “In terms of providing you with a road map, today’s expectations are the standards of tomorrow. At the Ministry of Community Services, we believe that change for the better will be created through the combination of education and financial incentives.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story about the presentation by Chris Jensen, download Integration of Rainwater Management & Green Infrastructure in British Columbia: The Province’s Perspective.