OKANAGAN RAIN TO RESOURCE WORKSHOP: Topsoil Technical Primer provides framework for implementation, enforcement and long-term viability of absorbent landscape features – Rémi Dubé

Note to Readers:

The purpose of Day 2 of the ‘From Rain to Resource Workshop on October 29 in Kelowna is to integrate the perspectives of the people working on-the-ground and those developing and adopting policy. A featured tool is the Topsoil Primer Set. Rémi Dubé will speak to the ‘Technical Primer for Municipal Staff & Designers’.

Rémi Dubé is the Acting Manager of Development Services with the City of Surrey. He has also represented the City on the steering committee for the Inter-Governmental Partnership that developed the Water Balance Model.

Why a Topsoil Primer Set

Released by the Green Infrastructure Partnership at the Bowker Creek Forum in February 2010, the ‘Topsoil  Primer Set’ synthesizes the pioneering experience of the City of Courtenay, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver.

The ‘Topsoil Primer Set’ was an outcome of 2009 Surrey Water Balance Model Forum. Co-organized by the Water Balance Model Partnership and Green Infrastructure Partnership, this regional event was designed to start a dialogue between policy-makers and project implementers about a shared responsibility for getting green infrastructure built right.

The Surrey Forum explored how policy and legal tools can help developers, regulators and designers collaborate to ensure responsible outcomes.

To Learn More:

Click on British Columbia’s “Topsoil Technical Primer” – Bowker Creek Forum in Victoria was the venue for the provincial launchAn example of how to move from green infrastructure policy objective to action on the ground“We had a few projects where we went back after implementation to find that the topsoil was not there. So we knew we had to look back at what we had done in the past; and develop a strategy so that we get what we ask for in future projects”, Rémi Dubé stated at the Bowker Forum.

Bowker forum - crowd scene

Topsoil Importance

Remi dube - january 2010 (120p)An absorbent topsoil layer has emerged as a fundamental building block of achieving watershed protection and meeting water sustainability targets,” states Rémi Dubé. “The Green Infrastructure Partnership published two primers to assist local government staff and designers in developing absorbent landscape regulations and design standards and ensuring their proper implementation.”

Technical Primer

“The Technical Primer provides design steps and highlights implementation issues that will help lead to the successful application of an ‘on the ground’ low impact development strategy.  My presentation at the Rain to Resource Workshop will touch on design considerations outlined in the Technical Primer but will stress the implementation, enforcement and long term viability of absorbent landscape features.”

“Typical watershed and neighbourhood based standards currently being applied in the City of Surrey will provide good examples of the various issues that must be addressed to ensure successful outcomes.”

“Surrey’s experience continues to reinforce the fact that implementing innovative strategies while maintaining the highest level of drainage servicing can only be achieved by setting clear expectations and promoting shared responsibility from design to implementation and operation.”

Topsoil technical primer - surrey watershed-based approach

Law & Policy Primer

The engineering-oriented presentation by Rémi Dubé will be complemented by a ‘law and policy’ presentation by Deborah Carlson.

“In terms of creating topsoil requirements at the municipal level there are a number of regulatory tools available, ranging from development permits to bylaws to performance standards,” states Deborah Carlson.

To Learn More:

Click on “Topsoil Primer Set” connects the dots between rainwater management and drought management — A policy and legal tool called the ‘Shared Responsibility Matrix’ identifies the actors along with the various instruments that govern their actions. This provides the frame of reference for the Topsoil Primer Set.

Topsoil law & policy primer - presentation outline