“We will use this coming together of BC's local leaders to share and learn from each other's experiences, and gain ideas to move our own communities forward. Without action, we cannot move our communities forward. This year’s UBCM Convention will offer an opportunity to take our goals, and forge them into tangible outcomes and continue to build gold medal standard communities,” stated Harry Nyce. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is about implementing a new culture for urban watershed protection and restoration. It speaks to the convention theme.
Turning Ideas Into Action
100-YEAR ACTION PLAN FOR BOWKER CREEK WATERSHED RESTORATION: Bowker Creek Forum advances a ‘regional team approach’ to achieving water sustainability in the Georgia Basin
Located in the urbanized heartland of the Capital Regional District, the Bowker Creek watershed is shared by the City of Victoria, City of Oak Bay, and District of Saanich. “A desired outcome in holding the Bowker Creek Forum was to share information about successful approaches, so that they can be replicated in other jurisdictions. The forum was a chance for regional organizations, businesses and community members to learn more about and celebrate the accomplishments of the Bowker Creek Initiative,” stated Tanis Gower.
2009 Resilient Cities Conference included a module on the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
Sustainability imperatives, the call for climate action, and the pressure for new approaches in almost every urban system have North American cities scrambling to manage the shift toward ecological practices and greater resilience. “BC is a living laboratory for many of the conference themes at Resilient Cities. This unique two-and-a-half day gathering addresses the challenges that all cities, whether large or small, urban or rural, are facing”, stated Glen Brown. “It includes a module that showcases the Water Sustainability Action Plan for a partnership delivery vehicle for the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives.”
2009 Metro Vancouver Water Balance Model Forum organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan
Hosted by the City of Surrey, and organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, the program was built around the HOW question as it pertains to green infrastructure: HOW will a consistent regional approach be achieved in Metro Vancouver? “We envisioned that the Surrey Forum would be a transformational event and a catalyst for action. One of our goals is to implement an educational program in Metro Vancouver that would be modelled on the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series,” stated Raymond Fung.
“The Penticton Forum showcased three regions where communities are ‘convening for action’ and embracing a ‘regional team approach’ to make a difference. Each regional initiative is developing a vision and road map to change the way that land is developed and water is used. The Penticton Forum also showcased web-based provincial tools that have been developed to help communities achieve water sustainability through truly green development,” reports Kim Stephens.
“We would like to shift the paradigm from boundaries to areas of commonality. The desired outcomes will include inter-departmental collaboration, inter-municipal sharing, and regional alignment. A key message is to view ‘planning’ not as land-zoning function but as a multi-faceted and iterative process that embraces the concept of truly integrated water-centric planning,” states Derek Richmond. “The essence of the regional team approach is that all the players will set their sights on the common good and challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests.”
2009 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan
“The spotlight is on how to implement the regional team approach – that is, a unified approach from all levels of government. At the end of the day, water is the underpinning of the community, and an integrated watershed approach to settlement is essential,” states Kevin Lorette. “The Comox Valley is demonstrating a ‘regional team approach’ because a convergence of interests has created an opportunity for all the players to set their sights on the common good.”
“A notable accomplishment was implementation of Year One of the CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative, a three-year program. The over-arching objective is to move towards water sustainability in BC by implementing green infrastructure policies, practices and standards. To that end, a goal is to reach out to land and water practitioners and educate them about practices that better balance the relationship between settlement activity and ecological assets in local and regional landscapes,” stated Ray Fung.
In April 2008, the WSC announced that Glen Brown had succeeded Raymond Fung as Chair of the WSC. Glen will build upon Ray’s solid groundwork with the development of innovative outreach programs that encourage an integrated approach to water and land management in British Columbia. Under Glen’s leadership, the Ministry of Community Services has encouraged local government to move beyond reliance solely upon water and wastewater infrastructure towards, adopting long term water sustainability measures.
In 2008, the Year Two program for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) implemented four program elements that built on the foundation provided by the Year One program. “The CAVI vision for the Year Two Program was to play an integrating role, cut across disciplines and ultimately serve as a catalyst to create neighbourhoods that integrate both good planning and innovative engineering designs, for overall greater sustainability ….environmental, social and economic,” reported Kim Stephens.