2004 & 2005 Green Infrastructure Consultation Workshops

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Awareness / Education / Requirement – “Implementation by local governments will be voluntary, but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will be by regulation,” stated Chuck Gale, a senior local government director of engineering in the Metro Vancouver region and the first Chair (2003-2005) of the BC Green Infrastructure Partnership, when he reflected on the path forward at the 2004 Consultation Workshop held in Metro Vancouver

“The primary purpose of the consultation was to explore the diversity of issues and difficulties inherent in defining and implementing a green infrastructure approach to land development. The consultation resulted in identification of 17 recommendations in five theme areas,” reported Chuck Gale. “An over-arching theme that emerged from the discussion revolves around the need to provide the bridge between those who make the decisions and those who implement the decisions.”

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2004 Consultation Workshop about “Model Subdivision Bylaw & Green Infrastructure Standards” was the launch event for British Columbia’s Green Infrastructure Partnership

According to Chuck Gale, “For the purposes of articulating what we wish to accomplish over time, our short-term and long-term efforts will be guided by the following Mission Statement: the Green Infrastructure Partnership will provide leadership by developing practical tools and instruments for green infrastructure design practices and regulation, and by encouraging their application in BC. Implementation by local governments will be voluntary, but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will be by regulation. This will be a multi-step process.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2004 CONSULTATION WORKSHOP: What is “Green Infrastructure”?

“Using a narrow interpretation, green infrastructure refers to the ecological processes, both natural and engineered, that are the foundation for a healthy natural and built environment in communities,” wrote Deborah Curran. “Municipalities using the green infrastructure as an integral part of how development occurs find that it is often less costly than hard infrastructure, and also offers aesthetic, environmental, health and recreational benefits.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2004: “Judge progress by the distance traveled, not the distance remaining,” stated Kim Stephens at Consultation Workshop for “Model Subdivision Bylaw & Green Infrastructure Standards”

“We have come a long way in just four years. Our experience in bringing the vision to fruition for the UniverCity Sustainable Community on Burnaby Mountain provides relevant context. It was not that long ago that the project was hanging by a thread. We have been successful in overcoming fear and doubt,” stated Kim Stephens. “In 2000, translating high expectations for UniverCity into practical design guidelines meant revisiting accepted drainage engineering practice.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2005: Green Infrastructure Consultation Workshop launched “Convening for Action in Metro Vancouver”

The workshop was designed to engage the Metro Vancouver Regional Engineers Advisory Committee (REAC). “The 2005 workshop truly was a dynamic and transformational event. We witnessed the motivational power of celebrating successes. We also recognized the need to get the story out about the leadership being shown by local government. This influenced everything that followed, including the work on Vancouver Island,” stated Ray Fung.

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