Green Infrastructure Partnership champions ‘design with nature’ infrastructure policies and practices
Create a Picture of the Future
The Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP) and the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) are collaborating to advance Convening for Action in British Columbia through pilots in three regions: Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island.
The GIP and WSC have developed a close working relationship, in part because the WSC is a member of the Partnership Steering Committee. “The WSC and Green Infrastructure Partnership are collaborating because desired outcomes for water sustainability and green infrastructure are common to both, and can be achieved through infrastructure standards that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water”, notes Kim Stephens (Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia).
Sharing A Vision
The Green Infrastructure Partnership was formed in 2003, and is a consortium of four organizations, namely:
- British Columbia Ministry of Community Services (MCS)
- Water Sustainability Committee of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (WSC)
- West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation (WCEL)
- Master Municipal Construction Documents Association (MMCD)
The four organizations share a vision of making green infrastructure practices more prevalent in communities across British Columbia. An integral part of the process is to create a picture of what the future landscape can look like. If we agree on where we wish to be in one or two generations, then we can map out the route to get there.
The Green Infrastructure Partnership is promoting an integrated approach to land development that addresses the need for coordinated change in policies, programs and practices at different scales – that is: region, neighbourhood, site and building.
Implementation by local governments will be voluntary – involving a range of social and economic considerations – but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will need clearly defined standards and regulatory models.
According to Kim Stephens, “Infrastructure design is changing. Cumulative benefits are achievable, one property at a time, through changes in the policies, programs, practices and standards that determine how land is developed and water is used. By implementing design with nature infrastructure practices and regulation, the ‘convening for action’ vision is that British Columbia will be well on the way to achieving water sustainability by 2010.”