West Vancouver is implementing regulatory change through enactment of precedent-setting Site Landscaping Requirements in its Zoning Bylaw. The District is demonstrating leadership and innovation by leveraging Sections 523 and 527 of the Local Government Act to achieve desired outcomes for on-site rainwater management. “The District of West Vancouver, through the ongoing discussions related to neighbourhood character and building bulk, has undertaken to implement a requirement for site landscaping as part of both new development and the redevelopment of properties throughout the community,” states Jim Bailey. “Compliance includes limiting the amount of impermeable surfacing, surface runoff control, the requirement for screening and landscaping to mask or separate adjacent uses.”
In the vein of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—a visionary in urban development and renewal—champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the 21st century. He advocates using green infrastructure to mitigate damage from destructive storms. “What’s so compelling about natural systems solutions is that they not only save costs but also improve the quality of life,” he contends. “As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, education and health disparities, among many others,” observes Jonathan Rose.
The Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable has made significant advancements under its collaborative model. One highlight is the development of a unique watershed plan that recognizes important linkages between ecosystem health and human well-being, and advances ecosystem-based thinking and planning across multiple jurisdictions of the Coquitlam River watershed. “Planning for capacity is proving especially important as the Roundtable looks forward to implementation of its Lower Coquitlam River Watershed plan over the coming years. The logistics of actually implementing watershed-wide initiatives spanning multiple jurisdictions make for uncharted territory in this watershed, however the Roundtable looks forward to taking on this new challenge and building the capacity needed to effectively do so,” states Marni Turek.
FLOWnGROW! – A workshop on "Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan" (November 29 in Kelowna)
The concept for FLOWnGROW is both visionary and practical, so constructed to identify solutions regarding water security. FLOWnGROW will explore the role of water from the global to the local. CBC’s Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks, will provide the big picture from a global perspective and beyond, once again reminding his audience of the limited amount of fresh water we have on earth, speaking to the need for a global water ethic and awareness as we collectively navigate an uncertain future. This will provide a rousing opening to the workshop. Bob McDonald, Chief Aaron Sam and Michael Blackstock will be the ‘book ends’ for the workshop. Bob McDonald is loved by audiences across Canada for making complex scientific issues understandable, meaningful, and fun.
For the past decade, Township staff have been learning and adapting, and their hands-on experience is reflected in HOW implementation of Langley’s rain garden program has evolved in successive development areas. “To date (from May 2006 to October 2015), an estimated 3100 lineal metres of rain gardens have been handed over from developers for maintenance by the Township of Langley and by property owners that front rain gardens,” states Yolanda Yeung. “Many more hundreds of metres of rain gardens are under design and under construction. We are learning by doing. In this way, we refine expectations for the finished product. The designs are more refined and the level of coordination for rain garden design and construction has improved.”
Water is a form-maker. It defines communities. Also, water-centric decisions ripple through time. Choices made today will determine what the future looks like. “The FLOWnGROW program has the real potential of influencing how we address water sustainability issues in BC going forward,” states Eric Bonham. “The themes, Whole Systems Approach, reflecting integration through inclusion, Blue Ecology, the interweaving of First Nations and Western Thought and Cathedral Thinking, the foresight and planning for future generations, will set the context for the day. The purpose of the workshop is to explore ideas that have universal value and broad application as we travel the road towards genuine long-term water sustainability.”