Creating Our Future: A Catalogue of Preferred Practices that achieve Green Value
Context for catalogue development
As a direct outcome of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in Nanaimo in December 2007, the Ministry of Community Services and Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia have concluded that there would be value in jointly funding a catalogue of local government policies and practices that accommodate settlement while at the same building in green value – such that benefits exceed liabilities, and the outcome of each policy or practice contributes to A Positive Settlement Strategy.
Collaboration under the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) umbrella creates an opportunity to build on and/or integrate several initiatives, including:
- the Real Estate Foundation’s Green Value Case Study Profile Series;
- the CivicInfo BC catalogue of Practices and Innovations; and
- the redesign of the Case Study Module that is pending for the WaterBucket Website.
According to Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, the title that is being considered is: Creating Our Future: A Catalogue of Preferred Practices that achieve Green Value. “We see the catalogue as a tool that will generate positive energy,” observes Stephens, “The unifying theme is that actions implemented on-the-ground ultimately add up to A Positive Settlement Strategy.”
“We believe it is a matter of changing expectations by illustrating expectations – that is to say, the mantra then becomes this is what we want our communities to look like,” continues Tim Pringle, Executive Director of the Real Estate Foundation.
According to the Ministry’s Chris Jensen, who is also Co-Chair of the Vancouver Island Water Balance Model Coordinating Team (VICT), the Catalogue of Preferred Practices will complement the efforts of VICT in carrying out its mission: facilitate a consistent, science-based approach to rainwater management…in order to create liveable communities and protect stream health. Jensen also reports that Vancouver Island is the pilot for a province-wide initiative: “The ultimate objective in developing the catalogue is that it will enable the sharing of preferred practices across regions.”
“If through local government policies and practices we get neighbourhoods right, then the sum of the neighbourhoods will be a healthier region,” adds Rod Sherrell, President of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC). The Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum was co-hosted by AVICC and CAVI. To learn more about this collaboration, please click on this link to local government leaders convene to brainstorm a new way-of-thinking.
According to Kim Stephens, catalogue development is a logical extension of the Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series where there was a sharing of who is doing what, and why. “The Showcasing Series showed us how important it is to provide venues for people in local government to tell their stories,” explains Stephens, “The catalogue will not be a research assignment which involves someone phoning around to communities. Rather, we see the catalogue content being the outcome of interactive sessions where conversations can take place.”
Actions on-the-ground add up to ‘A Positive Settlement Strategy’
Alignment of CAVI and AVICC is an important ingredient in catalogue development. “We wish to continue the conversation with the AVICC membership that we started at the Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum,” elaborates John Finnie, CAVI Chair, “Looking ahead, we will be exploring with AVICC when and how we might organize one or more interactive sessions where we would have sufficient time to:
- share the catalogue vision as a tool to achieve an outcome;
- introduce case study examples that engage our audience; and
- solicit additional case study examples from the audience.”
“The Catalogue of Preferred Practices will be a living document, and will be expanded over time as we collect the stories of what communities are doing on the ground to achieve Green Value,” concludes Tim Pringle, “It is a bottom-up approach to achieving A Positive Settlement Strategy through social, economic and environmental attributes that are in balance to the extent practicable.”