FLASHBACK TO 2003: Urban Forum at UBCM Annual Convention introduced local governments to “CitiesPLUS” and “Water Balance Model” initiatives (Sep 2003)


Connecting Communities

Urban communities are faced with many challenges, from increasing efficiencies and mitigating development impacts, to reducing resource consumption and providing quality infrastructure that will move communities into the future.

In 2003, the two-part UBCM Urban Forum session explored new tools and innovative approaches that local governments can use to make our communities more liveable and better able to anticipate the prospect of sustainable urban development.

This session looked at the innovations in managing the natural environment and the built environment in an integrated manner, as showcased in the award winning CitiesPlus urban sustainability plan for the region, and included a discussion of lessons learned throughout the planning exercise.

It also looked at protecting urban watersheds, while at the same time promoting more cost-effective land use development through innovative water management.

PART 1: citiesPLUS – Sustainability and a 100-Year Horizon

sebastian_moffatt_citiesplus_120p“In 2003, Canada’s entry in the international Sustainable Suburban Designs Competition was awarded first place and great recognition for its 100-year outlook toward sustainability in the region,” reported Sebastian Moffat, team leader and President of Shelter Resource Group Consultants.

ken-cameron_trimmed_120pAt the UBCM Urban Forum, the citiesPLUS team showed delegates the winning plan and also looked at lessons learned and insights gained that communities across the province can learn from,” added Ken Cameron, Manager of Policy & Planning, Greater Vancouver Regional District.

johnny-carline_2011_trimmed_120p“Comments included commentary on possible implications for BC communities, the opportunities that arise out of the ‘win’ and the emerging set of methods and tools for long range planning,” summarized Johnny Carline, Chief Administrative Officer, Greater Vancouver Regional District. He presented the story behind the win.

PART 2: Designing with Nature: Walking the Talk for a Sustainable Community Design

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn part two of the Urban Forum, the Water Balance Model team looked at the missing link in the promotion of urban sustainability,” stated Kim Stephens, Coordinator with the Inter-Governmental Partnership.

“We explained the use of a watershed-based approach that manages the natural environment and the built environment as integrated components of the same watershed.”

Mayor_Barry_Janyk_2011_120pThe focus of our presentation was on how to design and build new subdivisions that reduce stormwater runoff volumes and function hydrologically as though still forested,” continued Mayor Barry Janyk, Town of Gibsons.

“The intent of this new tool, the Water Balance Model, is to encourage the use of development practices which lower the costs and maximize the benefits to developers, while providing increased protection to the environment.”

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the 2003 Urban Forum program, click on 2006 Habitat Plus 30 and World Urban Forum – Sustainable Local Government.