FLASHBACK TO 2008: “Beyond the Guidebook is a provincial initiative to advance implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices throughout British Columbia,” stated Paul Ham, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership

The article provides a concise overview of considerations that have led to integration of two hydrologic models. "The tool underpins 'Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual (2007)', a provincial initiative to advance implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices throughout British Columbia. The mantra for this provincial initiative is: Today's Expectations are Tomorrow's Standards," stated Paul Ham.

FLASHBACK TO 2007: “I am very interested in your approach to mitigate environmental impacts associated with urbanization”, stated Linda Pechacek when she represented the Urban Water Resources Research Council at the British Columbia Water Balance Model Partners Forum

BC's Inter-Governmental Partnership held a Forum in March 2007 so that Partners could share success stories and lessons learned in implementing green infrastructure. “Once the IGP had invited me to be a member of its Expert Advisory Panel, I decided to attend your Water Balance Model Partners Forum because I am very interested in your approach to mitigate environmental impacts associated with urbanization”, Linda Pechacek informed the Partners.

Sponge City: Solutions for China’s Thirsty and Flooded Cities

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a new way to think about flooding and drought. At China’s Central Government Conference on Urbanization, he announced that cities should act “like sponges.” This proclamation came with substantial funding to experiment with ways cities can absorb precipitation. It also injected a new term into the global urban design vocabulary.

FLASHBACK TO 2013: “In the 21st century we are implementing smaller-scale solutions. In the long-term, this will produce a savings for the City and taxpayers,” wrote Councillor Lisa Helps in a primer about Victoria’s Stormwater Utility

In 2014 the City of Victoria will be rolling out its new Stormwater Utility. "This is something that makes the City of Victoria a leader in Canada. It’s innovative because it encourages people, at the level of their own properties, to take responsibility and leadership for creating solutions – like rain barrels, cisterns, raingardens, bioswales – that are good for the planet and good for the City’s stormwater system," wrote Lisa Helps.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Watch Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” Video – “Changing the world, or even one small piece of, requires a lot of trial and error,” stated Howard Neukrug, the visionary behind Philadelphia’s bold plan to peel back the concrete and asphalt and replace it with green infrastructure

Philadelphia has developed a US$1.6 bllion plan to transform the city over the next 20 years. The plan reimagines the city as an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, thousands of additional trees, and more. According to Howard Neukrug, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Director of the Office of Watersheds, "We are taking that (old, grey infrastructure) barrier down, and are stopping the water from ever hitting the system."

FLASHBACK TO 2007: “Funding provided by the Canadian Water Network enabled us to bring together a pan-Canadian team of academics and practitioners”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier when introducing the vision for a National Knowledge Translation Strategy led by the University of BC

“The Vancouver get-together is the first of three cross-Canada working sessions, and will be followed by an event in Calgary later in 2007, with the third event to be held in Toronto in early 2008”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier. Three universities are involved in the project: UBC, Guelph and Waterloo. Three local government organizations are also involved in order to provide a practitioner perspective for each of three participating provinces.

DESIGN WITH NATURE TO PREVENT STORMWATER FLOODING: “We are playing catchup – why is application of the science lagging far behind long established knowledge,” is the question posed by Rick Baumann in South Carolina guest column

"I read a recent article entitled Stormwater Flooding An Expensive Problem, Hot Issue. Well, it has been an 'expensive' and 'hot' issue for about a hundred years – and our leaders have mostly chosen to ignore that, " wrote Rick Baumann in a guest newspaper column. "We are playing catchup. The result of this brilliant mindset: we end up paying far more to fix a problem further down the road when the absolute need to address it leaves no other option."

VIDEO – Slow the Flow: Make Your Landscape Act Like a Sponge

"When much of California is facing drought and limited water supplies, capturing and reusing every drop of water will not only be clever, but crucial. By moving water away from the people and places that need it, stormwater cannot percolate into the ground and replenish water we keep drilling deeper and deeper to reach. Californians can counteract the negative impacts of stormwater runoff by promoting water infiltration," wrote Paula Luu.

IMAGINE: Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there

The Green Infrastructure Guide is an invaluable reference document for those who embrace a ‘design with nature’ philosophy. “All of us have an impact on the land, on the water, and on the way things look. Each party in the process has a responsibility. There are solutions to be found if all parties in the development process simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools," wrote Susan Rutherford.