DOWNLOAD: “Design with Nature” philosophy guides Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
Note to Reader:
In March 2010, a request for a story about the Bowker Creek Forum from Hans Peter Meyer (editor of the Communities in Transition Information Resource), was the trigger for preparing an historical retrospective on why ‘design with nature’ has become an integral and essential part of the green infrastructure and water sustainability branding in British Columbia.
The outcome was a document titled “Design with Nature” philosophy guides Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. Written by Kim Stephens, this story identifies a number of British Columbians who have made timely and significant contributions in advancing a vision for developing land differently. The ‘design with nature’ story is told in their words.
Desired outcome is to achieve “Settlement in Balance with Ecology” as communities develop and re-develop
“To understand where we are heading, we need to understand where we have come from. Historical context is important,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. The Partnership is responsible for delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan.
“Since 2004, the Action Plan has championed the way-of-thinking and acting embodied in the phrase ‘design with nature’. We borrowed this phrase from the title of the seminal book by Ian McHarg.”
What ‘Design with Nature’ Means
“In practical terms, what designing with nature means…is essentially a restatement of Smart Growth principles,” explains Ray Fung, Director of Engineering & Transportation with the District of West Vancouver. He is Past-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.
In 2006, the District of West Vancouver formally embraced ‘design with nature’ in its Sustainable Future: 3 Year Corporate Business Plan 2006 – 2008.
“Speaking from the perspective of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, what we found is that the term Smart Growth is sometimes highly charged and political. People often get their backs up because they associate ‘smart growth’ as being all about imposing higher density development.”
“We find that people intuitively understand what designing with nature means. It is non-threatening.”
To Learn More:
To download and read the complete story, click on “Design with Nature” philosophy guides Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.