CREATING THE FUTURE IN THE TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY: “Langley is planning neighbourhoods based on catchment areas. This means managing each as a system,” stated Al Neufeld, the Township’s Manager of Parks Administration

Note to Reader:

The Langley Township story is the fifth in a series of Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles published by the Partnership for Water Sustainability.

The series showcases and celebrates successes and long-term ‘good work’ in the local government setting.

The purpose of the series is to inform and facilitate inter-regional collaboration in the Georgia Basin. 

By telling the stories of those who are spearheading changes in practice, this helps other local governments eliminate the “disconnect between information and implementation” that may otherwise hold them back.

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Manage Neighbourhoods within a Drainage System Context

Green Infrastructure Services, as one of three departments within the Development Services section of the Township of Langley’s Community Development Division, is responsible for rain garden implementation through the development approval process.

Neighbourhood Technical Teams

Because Al Neufeld was involved the in early stages of rain garden implementation and establishment of the Green Infrastructure Services department, he has an informed perspective on how green infrastructure has evolved in Langley to become the Township’s standard practice:

Al Neufeld_Langley_trimmed1_120p“Green Infrastructure Services had its genesis in parks and open space design,” emphasized Al Neufeld in an interview. He is Manager, Parks Administration, Design & Development.

“Splitting the function and creating a dedicated group within Community Development meant we could focus on innovation regarding green approaches to neighbourhood development.

“Langley is planning neighbourhoods based on catchment areas. This means managing each as a system.

“Green Infrastructure Services promotes, encourages and provides for the translation of broad goals and objectives as outlined in the municipality’s Sustainability Charter, to practical applications as part of development proposals.

“Through the community and neighbourhood planning process, multidisciplinary teams collaborate in Neighbourhood Technical Teams to integrate the landscape architecture, planning and engineering perspectives. The site-specific designs are reviewed for coordination by all three departments within the Community Services section.”

Learn by Doing & Adapt

“To date (from May 2006 to October 2016), an estimated 3100 lineal metres of rain gardens have been handed over from developers for maintenance by the Township of Langley and by property owners that front rain gardens,” reported Yolanda Leung.

Yolanda-Leung_Langley-Township_DSC_0082_Aug2016_120p“Many more hundreds of metres of rain gardens are under design and under construction. We are learning by doing. In this way, we refine expectations for the finished product. The designs are more refined and the level of coordination for rain garden design and construction has improved.

“A driver for this ongoing evolution is the incorporation of habitat compensation for the fisheries resource.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story, download a copy of the Watershed Case Profile. Click on Green Infrastructure Innovation in Langley Township, released in October 2017.

The Table of Contents below is a synopsis. It distills the essence of each section into a succinct statement. These create a storyline. Readers are asked to pause and reflect on them before reading the story itself.

Langley_Table of Contents