2010 Greenlink Conference

CONVENING FOR ACTION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Vancouver GreenLink Conference provided a high-profile platform for showcasing “Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan” and rolling out “Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia” (October 2010)

GreenLink 2010 attracted an international audience and “linked” the best of the best in Sustainable Communities, Finance, Technology and Government. “It was a real pleasure to take part in the Smarter Water Management panel and in particular to hear about the far-sighted and imaginative approach that the BC Government is taking to identifying, managing and educating people about the province’s water management issues. I am sure that this approach will provide lessons for other areas that seek to address their water management needs,” stated moderator Peter Williams.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT GREENLINK VANCOUVER CONFERENCE: “By living water smart, communities will be more prepared for climate change and their quality of life will be enhanced,” stated Lynn Kriwoken, Ministry of Environment (October 2010)

Living Water Smart comprises 45 commitments, which are grouped into five themes for building greener communities and adapting to a changing climate. “What do you imagine for water, both where you live and in your life? It is a tall order for water management in the 21st century, and how we get there? Living Water Smart outlines three key themes for realizing the vision. If we can show how to get the water part right, then other parts are more likely to follow,” stated Lynn Kriwoken.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT GREENLINK VANCOUVER CONFERENCE: “Living Water Smart is about getting the practitioners and the people on the ground to make changes in the way they develop land and use water,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Ministry of Agriculture, when he referenced Beyond the Guidebook 2010 and its theme about implementing a new culture for watershed protection (October 2010)

“The question that we ask, and it is a challenge, is this – what would you like this place to look like in 50 years? Once you have that vision of what it would look like, what steps will you take to get there? And you cannot make those steps 45 years from now. Those steps start today. Make the change today. The challenges we face and choices that we make today are going to impact us for a long time,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT GREENLINK VANCOUVER CONFERENCE: “The concept of respect for the land and a ‘design with nature’ approach to community design is in stark contrast to the ‘dominate and destroy’ mentality described by Ian McHarg when he published his call to action, Design With Nature, in the 1960s,” stated Kim Stephens (October 2010)

“Most people don’t understand ‘water’ because it is  abstract beyond what happens when they  turn  the  tap or flush the toilet, but light bulbs go on when we say we are actually talking about the ‘land ethic’. The critical message is that it is ‘land + water’, not water in a silo,” stated Kim Stephens. “A suburban reality is that no large-scale project proceeds until ‘water issues’, usually drainage, are resolved because water is at the heart of environmental impact. Battles are fought over water-related issues during the approval process, but once resolved, the water discussion is recorded as a deceptively small part of a project storyline.”

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