“Benefits provided by nature are being recognized and incorporated into the delivery of local government services,” states CAO David Allen, City of Courtenay

"Unlike the built environment, healthy ecological services are self-sustaining, and don’t require expensive operations and maintenance costs. The ecological services provided by wetlands, aquifers, and community forests support stormwater management, drinking water protection, and climate change mitigation, all key issues for municipalities in BC," wrote David Allen.

FLASHBACK TO 2007: “Water Sustainability can be achieved through Green Infrastructure practices” – introduction of a transformational way of thinking

Commencing in 2003, consistent and repeated use of the phrase ‘design with nature’ has proven effective in facilitating a paradigm-shift in the local government setting. The phrase is borrowed from the title of a seminal book by Ian McHarg, published in 1969. His book Design with Nature pioneered the concept of ecological planning. Ian McHarg’s premise is simple: “that the shaping of land for human use ought to be based on an understanding of natural process.”

Urban Tree Canopy: Water experts welcome plan to cool Australia’s cities

“Delivering green cities requires integrated and coordinated action by councils, urban water authorities, state governments and private industry, so it’s encouraging to hear that the Federal Government will develop a vision for greener Australian cities and work with the States to implement this vision," said Jurg Keller of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at the University of Queensland.

“A Guide to Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley” – Joint Staff Training Workshop initiates educational process for communicating ‘design with nature’ expectations in urban watersheds

“Healthier watersheds can handle high and low rainfall better, and are therefore more resilient to the coming changes," stated Kris La Rose. "From the regional perspective, mitigation of flood risk, water conservation and restoration and protection of our streams and rivers are all key priorities. The increase in extreme weather is highlighting the need to build better resiliency into the natural systems that we all rely so heavily upon."

Clean Streams, Strong Neighbourhoods (Video): “Blueprint Columbus”

Instead of simply storing excess water that seeps into the sanitary sewer system when rain falls and snow melts, Blueprint Columbus will address the source of the problem. "What we're seeing in cities like Columbus is part of a trend toward using green infrastructure to meet specific needs of utilities while generating a host of additional benefits for their communities. These cities are turning their infrastructural liabilities into assets," wrote Steve Goldsmith.

City of Courtenay Issues 2014 State of the Environment Report

“There’s no question that land development has an impact on our local ecology. One of the most visible and loved ecological features of a community is its water – its streams and rivers, lakes and wetlands. In working with the conservation sector, we decided to focus on these ecosystems to highlight their value and show how they are changing as our community grows over time," said Nancy Hofer.

Wetland Conservation in a Watershed Health Context: “Watershed Blueprints will help municipalities integrate and better deliver on regulatory requirements,” says Kim Stephens

"A watershed blueprint helps to create a picture of how to achieve a desired future condition. If communities reduce their 'water footprint', and if local government actions ensure the integrity of groundwater flow, they can then protect watershed and stream health. This is a reason for conserving wetlands," stated Kim Stephens.

Urban Forestation: The Role Trees Play in Urban Ecosystems and Infrastructure

"Urban trees have popular appeal and are also highly regulated. Most cities have bylaws that protect mature trees from being cut down and dictate how many trees must accompany new development. There is also increasing research and awareness around the role trees play in urban ecosystems and infrastructure," wrote Wendy Stueck.