DOCUMENTS: “Celebrating Green Infrastructure: Summary Report on 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series”
Designing with Nature in BC
A decade ago, infrastructure design was in a major sea-change, and British Columbia was in the vanguard of that change. The Green Infrastructure Partnership promoted an integrated approach to land development and infrastructure servicing that addresses the need for coordinated change at different scales – that is: region, neighbourhood, site and building.
Formed in 2003, the Green Infrastructure Partnership educated stakeholders regarding the benefits of a ‘design with nature’ approach to community planning and land development.
2006 Showcasing Innovation Series
The 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series was an outcome of Consultation Workshop organized by the Green Infrastructure Partnership and hosted by the City of Surrey in May 2005. The goal of the Series was to build regional capacity through sharing of green infrastructure approaches, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of ‘designing with nature’. The program was launched in May 2006, and was organized as a workshop in the morning followed by field tour in the afternoon.
This format created opportunities for practitioners to network and share “how to do it” experiences on the ground. The host municipalities set the scene for the field tour by providing comprehensive and in-depth presentations.
The first in the series – Showcasing Innovation in North Vancouver – successfully used a lane, an arterial highway and the Maplewood community as real-life case studies that informed participants about the benefits of innovation. For the lane example, selection of porous pavement to infiltrate rainwater runoff was an outcome of an inter-departmental design charrette where the Water Balance Model was a key decision tool.
“The project was initiated as the result of a petition by local homeowners to Council. The homeowners envisioned a conventional paving project. It was a member of Council who asked Staff to take a second look and identify how an innovative approach could be applied to achieve environmental objectives,” reported the District’s Richard Boase.
The second in the series – Showcasing Innovation in Surrey – was held in June 2006 and focused on what the City of Surrey believes it can systematically accomplish on-the-ground, at a watershed scale, now and over the next 50 years by building on experience gained from the East Clayton Sustainable Community.
“The emphasis was on the approach the City is developing under the umbrella of the Fergus Creek ISMP to facilitate changes in how land is developed and/or redeveloped,” reported the City’s Remi Dube.
The third in the series – Showcasing Innovation in Vancouver and at the University of British Columbia – was held in September 2006 and featured eco-friendly roadways that reflect a ‘design with nature’ approach to integrating rainwater runoff management and transportation design.
“The Country Lanes Demonstration Project originated from community desire for the City to provide a more environmentally friendly and visually attractive alternative to Vancouver’s existing asphalt lanes. The initiative was further propelled by a policy directive from the City’s Corporate Management Team which encouraged staff to incorporate enhanced sustainability into all the City Operations as a way of doing business,” reported the City of Vancouver’s David Desrochers.
To Learn More:
Click on Celebrating Green Infrastructure: Summary Report on 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series to download a comprehensive document that explains the genesis of the series and how it was implemented.