Designing with Nature in British Columbia – a presentation to local government elected representatives on “Walking the Talk for Sustainable Community Design” (Sep 2003)

Note to Reader:

In September 2003, UBCM organized a half-day Urban Forum as part of its Annual Convention.

Organized in two halves, the Forum coupled a presentation on a 100-year vision for the Metro Vancouver region with a presentation on an inter-governmental initiative to change the way land is developed and water is used in British Columbia.

Mayor Barry Janyk (Town of Gibsons), Dipak Basu (Development Engineer, City of Chilliwack) and Kim Stephens (Coordinator, Inter-Governmental Partnership) tag-teamed to tell the story of the inter-governmental partnership.


Walking the Talk

The presentation was organized in five parts. Mayor Janyk opened and closed. Dipak Basu provided the core content; he showcased Chilliwack examples. Kim Stephens bridged into and out from the Chilliwack case study.

Mayor Barry Janyk was a driving force and the Moderator for the SMARTSTORM Forums that were held in Sechelt, Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows. SMARTSTORM created the momentum that resulted in the Stormwater Guidebook.

Kim Stephens was the organizer and leader of the Presentation Team for the SMARTSTORM Forums, is the principal author of the Stormwater Guidebook, and is recognized internationally as a leading expert in water balance management.

Dipak Basu’s pioneering efforts in stormwater management in BC date back to the 1970s when he was with the City of Surrey. Through his efforts, the Chilliwack Manual was developed as a case study application of the Stormwater Guidebook, and all new subdivisions in the City are being developed in accordance with the water balance methodology.

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of their PowerPoint presentation package, click on Designing with Nature – Walking the Talk for Sustainable Community Design (16.5MB).



Stormwater Planning:
A Guidebook for British Columbia

“The Guidebook was developed to help all communities, and especially those which must develop and implement the stormwater component of a Liquid Waste Management Plan,” explained Kim Stephens.

“The Guidebook has established science-based performance objectives and targets for designing individual sites and entire neighbourhoods to function hydrologically as though they are still naturally forested.”

“The Water Balance Model is a decision support / scenario modeling tool.”

“It was developed as an extension of the Guidebook to answer questions about the effectiveness of source controls, demonstrate how to meet performance targets for water balance management at the site, neighbourhood and watershed scales, and derive feasibility and affordability relationships.”


Link to Sustainable Land Use

“The Stormwater Guidebook and Water Balance Model initiatives link directly to land use planning, policy, and regulation,” stated Mayor Barry Janyk.

“They provide context and a framework for the environmental, economic, social and governance values that shape communities and regions.”

“The Water Balance Model promotes a watershed-based approach that recognizes the relationships between the natural environment and the built environment, and manages them as integrated components of the same watershed.”

“In the interactive session, it was clear that our story had resonated with my fellow elected representatives. They got it!”

“It is important to acknowledge that, in part one of the Urban Forum, Johnny Carline’s presentation of the 100-year vision had primed the audience.”

“He painted a picture of the destination, which is what we want the regions of BC to look like for our grandchildren and their children.”

“We then provided a road map of how we can get there by doing business differently and designing with nature,” concluded Mayor Janyk.