2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series resonates in Metro Vancouver
Series of three events promotes networking and sharing of lessons learned, and builds regional capacity
The projected growth of the Metro Vancouver region and resulting cumulative impacts are drivers for reassessing how land is developed and water is used. To promote a new way-of-thinking related to infrastructure policies and practices, the Green Infrastructure Partnership organized Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Greater Vancouver: The 2007 Series.
The 2006 pilot program was held in Metro Vancouver. In 2007, parallel series were held on both sides of the Georgia Basin on alternatiing Fridays during the September/October period. To learn more about the origin of the Series, click on Green Infrastructure Partnership Launches ‘Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program’; and for an overview of how it has evolved, click on Convening for Action to Change the Way We Develop Land: “Designing with Nature” explained.
This web story contains a consolidated listing of links to previous WaterBucket stories that describe each event in the Showcasing Innovation Series.
The Showcasing Innovation Series
According to Paul Ham, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership (and General Manager, Engineering, City of Surrey), “At the 2005 consultation workshop hosted by the City of Surrey, Metro Vancouver municipalities told us that they wanted to hear firsthand from those who are implementing green infrastructure, and they want to see what it looks like.”
“In response to this need, 2006 was the first year of the Showcasing Innovation Series”, continues Paul Ham, “In Year Two of the program, our aim was to continue promoting region-wide networking and sharing of lessons learned.”
“The Showcasing Innovation Series creates pride and enables local governments to tell their stories in a way that no other forum currently provides,” observes Kim Stephens, Series organizer and event Moderator, and Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
According to Kim Stephens, “A Showcasing Innovation event is not a conference. Neither is it a workshop nor seminar in the conventional sense. Rather the purpose of the presentations is to whet the appetites of participants for the site tour that follows. The quality one-on-one conversations take place on the bus and when we go for a walkabout.”
Recognition from Metro Vancouver Board
Mayor Lois Jackson, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board, welcomed attendees at the Delta event. In her opening statement, Mayor Jackson observed that “…when you have examples of what can be done, and projects are being built, you can then wrap your mind around the green infrastructure vision and say to yourself: “what’s the big deal….this is really common sense….if we can do this, then we can do more.” To read the complete text of her remarks, please click here.
Later when Mayor Jackson reported out to the Metro Vancouver Board, she reportedly had glowing accolades for the Showcasing Innovation Series.
Organization & Response
Each event comprised presentations in the morning and a tour of project sites in the afternoon. Each event was unique.
A Green Infrastructure Partnership theme is that it often takes a third party to bring busy people together. According to Kim Stephens, “Experience shows that intra-region communication among local governments tends to be the exception rather than the rule. The GIP objective is to turn the exception into the rule ”
Registration was capped based on bus capacity in the case of Delta and Langley; and tour guide capacity in the case of UniverCity. The total registration was approximately 150. While a number of people attended two or even three of the events, the majority attended only one event. In all cases, the seats were filled quickly.
Attendance at Delta Event:
The Delta event attracted over 60 people, including a contingent from as far away as Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. The diverse audience was comprised of representatives from Metro Vancouver, thirteen municipalities, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a half-dozen private sector organizations, and several non-government organizations. Included in the audience were senior managers and on-the-ground practitioners.
Attendance at Langley Event:
Brad Badelt, Water Resources Engineer and leader of the Langley Showcasing Team, reports that close to 50 people registered for the Langley event.
“When we look at who registered, we are struck by the diversity of the audience. There were representatives from Metro Vancouver, the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Gibsons, eight Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley municipalities, federal fisheries, a number of private sector organizations, and several non-government organizations,” Kim Stephens elaborated.
“We had a great mix of people and perspectives. We had elected representatives, senior managers, and on-the-ground practitioners,” added Stephens.
Attendance at UniverCity Event:
Registrations for the UniverCity event were capped at 40. As with the Delta and Langley events, the audience was diverse in terms of attracting both public and private sector attendees, but primarily comprised representatives of local government. Eleven Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast municipalities sent staff. Metro Vancouver was the twelfth local government to participate.
The Corporation of Delta
The elements of the Delta progam are described in three comprehensive stories, two before the event and the other after:
- The Corporation of Delta hosts first in “2007 Showcasing Innovation Series”: The event theme for celebrating Green Infrastructure is “Greener Developments, Roadside Rainwater Management, and the Urban Forest”
- Greener Developments, Roadside Rainwater Management and the Urban Forest in Delta, BC: Municipality hosts first in 2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series
- Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series in Metro Vancouver launched in Delta: First of three events highlights the importance of small-scale projects in achieving the big picture
In addition to these comprehensive stories, a number of stand-alone stories provide details of projects which were showcased. Links for before and after stories are listed below:
- The Delsom Development in Delta, British Columbia: A Case Study for the Sustainable Template: Sustainability checklist will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation in Greater Vancouver Series’
- Sustainability principles adopted by Delta Council evolve into a Sustainable Template for Development
- Delta Embraces Green Infrastructure to Resolve Problems and Create Amenities
- Enhancing Urban Streetscapes, One Block at a Time, in the Corporation of Delta: Municipality implements landscape-based rainwater management solutions
- Unique Partnership Creates Community Rain Garden at Cougar Canyon Elementary School in Delta, British Columbia
- The Urban Forest: Planning for Climate Change in Delta, British Columbia: Reforestation strategy will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation in Greater Vancouver Series’
- Planning for Climate Change – Implementation of an urban reforestation strategy in Delta, British Columbia
The Township of Langley
The elements of the Langley program are described in these ‘before the event’ and ‘after the event’ stories:
- Langley Township hosts second in “2007 Showcasing Innovation Series”: The event theme for Celebrating Green Infrastructure is “Harmony and Integration”
- Township of Langley Showcases Green Infrastructure Innovation in New Neighbourhoods: Second of three events focuses on how a ‘water-centric’ approach is changing the way that land is developed
The foregoing are supplemented by the following stand-alone stories about the program elements:
- From Stormwater Management to Integrated RAINwater Management in the Township of Langley: Water-centric approach is changing the way land is developed
- Climate Change Adaptation: Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Township of Langley: Corporate Plan featured in “Showcasing Innovaton in Greater Vancouve Series”
- Langley’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy: Township has achieved the first three of five milestones
- Protecting Langley Township’s Groundwater Supply
- Langley Township’s new Civic Centre is a LEED Silver retrofit project
UniverCity, the Community at Simon Fraser
The elements of the UniverCtiy progam are described in two comprehensive stories, two before the event and the other after:
- UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain hosts third in “2007 Showcasing Innovation Series”: The event theme for Celebrating Green Infrastructure is “A Partnership in Action: from Vision to Implementation”
- UniverCity Leads Way with Next Generation of Green Infrastructure Innovation: Focus of third of three events is on ‘learning by doing’
These stories are supplemented by a set of stand-alone stories that provide context on the precedent-setting aspects of the development plan::
- UniverCity will host third in ‘2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series’: ‘A Partnership in Action: from Vision to Implementation’ is the event theme
- Building a Community and Creating a Sense of Community at UniverCity: A complete, commpact community takes shape atop Burnaby Mountain
- Green Infrastructure and Adaptive Management – Learning by Doing at UniverCity in British Columbia: Lessons learned are being integrated in engineering designs for successive phases
- UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain – from Stormwater Management to RAINwater Management: History of a leading application of a ‘hydrologic footprint’ way-of-thinking and implementing
- Overcoming Fear and Doubt to Implement Changes in Infrastructure Standards: Kim Stephens provides historical context at UBC Conference
- UniverCity, the Sustainable Community at the top of Burnaby Mountain: Implementing the vision, objectives and guiding principles of the Brunette River and Stoney Creek watershed plans
Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
The Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia is sponsored by the Province of British Columbia, and the Action Plan elements are being delivered through partnerships, one of which is the Green Infrastructure Partnership. The Action Plan provides a partnership umbrella for an array of on-the-ground initiatives that promote a ‘water-centric’ approach to community planning and development. .
The mission of the Green Infrastructure Partnership is to provide leadership and encourage others to implement ‘design with nature’ design practices and regulation province-wide. Implementation by local governments will be voluntary, but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will need clearly defined standards.
Posted October 2007