UniverCity atop Burnaby Mountain
At a rainwater conference hosted by the University of British Columbia in June 2007, this question was posed to a panel of practitioners: Obstacles to innovations; how to introduce changes into stormwater management?
Kim Stephens drew on his Metro Vancouver experience to tell a story that provided the flavour of what it was like to be in the hot seat when introducing a new way of thinking and doing in 2000. He was project manager and principal author of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released by the Province in June 2002.
“During the 2000-2001 period we had to overcome fear and doubt in order to move ahead with projects such as the East Clayton Sustainable Community in Surrey, and UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain. It was David Reid who coined the overcoming fear and doubt mantra; it stuck and became an integral part of the UniverCity story,” Kim Stephens told the UBC audience.
“By early 2001, we were literally hanging on by our fingernails. At the time, it was Patrick Condon of UBC who said: ‘If we fail, it will be a generation before anyone will even have the opportunity to try again; so we must not fail’. Well, we did not fail. And because we succeeded with East Clayton and UniverCity, those hard-fought successes have ultimately made it possible to change land development practices to capture rain where it falls,” concluded Kim Stephens.
TO LEARN MORE:
In 2000, translating high expectations into practical design guidelines meant revisiting accepted drainage engineering practice. To read the complete story from which the above was extracted, click on Overcoming Fear and Doubt to Implement Changes in Infrastructure Standards, posted on Water Bucket in 2007. This provides historical context for development of the Water Balance Model by a BC-based inter-governmental partnership.