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.

FLASHBACK TO 2006: West Vancouver Mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones teamed with Green Infrastructure Partnership to champion ‘Design with Nature’ approaches, overcome barriers and create a legacy in British Columbia


The goal is to turn local governments on to the practical reality that designing with nature holds out hope for communities and cities to function better, to our lasting benefit. "As the leaders appointed to design the Sustainable Region Initiative, we view you as critical partners in affecting positive change with regard to infrastructure design in the region," stated Mayor Goldsmith-Jones in December 2006 at a Metro Vancouver Sustainability Community Breakfast.

DESIGN WITH NATURE: Data Show that Increased Tree Canopy Boosts Property Values in Sydney, Australia

“To ensure the value of green infrastructure is recognised, our research found a connection between canopy coverage and the value of Australia’s favourite investment, the family home," stated Roger Swinbourne. “The irony here is that the very development that often leads to the removal of trees suffers in the long run as the ‘double whammy’ of direct sunlight and more surface water increases maintenance frequency and cost.”

DESIGN WITH NATURE: Forester University webinar looks at the water cycle with fresh eyes and showcases how to apply new approaches, methodologies and tools

“Collaboration with Forester University means the Partnership for Water Sustainability will have created an online teaching resource that will keep on giving,” stated Richard Boase. “As a teaching tool, the webcast is intended to help these professionals ask the right questions. We would like them to focus on how they and others can apply science-based understanding, properly and effectively, turn the clock back."

“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."