Celebrating Green Infastructure Program: The 2006 Series in Metro Vancouver

Green infrastructure partnership

2006 Showcasing Innovation Series launched as a pilot in Greater Vancouver Region

In May 2005, the Green Infrastructure Partnership conducted a Consultation Workshop in collaboration with the Regional Engineers Advisory Committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The “Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program” was a consultation outcome.

The goal of the Showcasing Innovation Series is to build regional capacity through sharing of green infrastructure approaches, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of ‘designing with nature’. The series is a building block process — each time the objective is to raise the bar when celebrating successes in Greater Vancouver municipalities. Organization of the series has been made possible by seed funding provided by the Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG), a technical committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

According to Paul Ham, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, “The Showcasing Innovation Series is a provincial pilot. When we talk to practitioners in local government, it doesn’t matter what the region, the message is the same…they tell us that they are too busy to communicate with their colleagues in neighbouring municipalities. Yet the irony is that there is much to learn by sharing information with each other. At the end of the day, it seems that it takes a third party to bring people together. Our intention is that the Greater Vancouver pilot will provide the inspiration for similar Showcasing Innovation Series on Vancouver Island and in the Interior.”

For more information on program context and outcomes, please click on the following  link and download Celebrating Green Infrastructure: Summary Report on 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series.


 The first in the series – Showcasing Innovation in North Vancouver – successfully used a lane, an arterial highway and the Maplewood community as real-life examples that informed participants about the benefits of innovation. For details of this event, click here. Representatives from a dozen Greater Vancouver municipalities were in attendance, as well as other organizations (including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Greater Vancouver Regional District).

Bowser lane in lower capilan


 The second in the series – Showcasing Innovation in Surrey – focused on what the City believes it can systematically accomplish on-the-ground, at a watershed scale, now and over the next 50 years by building on the East Clayton experience. The emphasis on June 16th was on the array of tools that the City is developing under the umbrella of the Fergus Creek ISMP to facilitate changes in how land is developed and/or redeveloped. The underlying theme is “effective integration” of inter-departmental missions, mandates and accountatbilities in order to achieve results on-the-ground.

For the watershed tour part of Showcasing Innovation, the City arranged with Translink to provide a ‘green bus’ that is powered by diesel/electric hybrid propulsion technology.

For details of this event, please click here.  Representatives of engineering, planning, operations, parks and environment departments attended. A total of 11 municipalities participated.

Translink green bus


The third in the series was held on September 22 and was co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. The unifying theme was  “Sustainable Streets”. For details of this event, click here. The program was titled Greening Local Roadways – Integration of Rainwater Management & Transportation Design. Three projects were featured:

  • Crown Street & Country Lanes – Vancouver’s first environmentally sustainable roadway reflects a ‘design with nature’ approach to integrating rainwater runoff management and transportation design.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car– The Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program (VFCVP) demonstrates how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by powering cars with hydrogen rather than gasoline.
  • Sustainability Street Project at UBC – The initial phase is focusing on revolutionary closed-loop systems for rainwater and wastewater.

To view two videos that the City of Vancouver made on its greening of roadways, click on this link to construction of Crown Street eco-sensitive roadway, and this link to construction of Country Lanes.

Sustainability street project at ubcThe field tour commenced with a campus ‘walkabout’ before lunch to inspect the Sustainability Street Project. Its closed loops systems are the world’s first ones to integrate rainwater runoff management, wastewater treatment and ground source heating. After lunch, participants were  taken by double-decker bus to see how the City of Vancouver projects have been implemented.

 To download a copy of the Detailed Program, please click on this link to Showcasing Innovation at UBC and in the City of Vancouver

Event Planning:

Dave desrochers & steve mctaggart  (city of vancouver); and ed lee (ubc)_240pixelsLed by Kim Stephens representing the Green Infrastructure Partnership, event planning was  a collaborative effort of a joint team comprising representatives of the City of Vancouver and trhe University of British Columbia. From left to right opposite are Dave Desrochers and Steve McTaggart of the City’s Engineering Department, and Ed Lee of UBC’s Health, Safety & Environment group.