2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series resonates in Metro Vancouver



Showcasing innovation - july 2007


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.

Delta5_New way of thinking


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 fPaul ham (120pixels)rom 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.

APEGBC - kim stephens -june 2006 (120p)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.”

Langley14 - 2007 showcasing series


Recognition from Metro Vancouver Board

Mayor Lois Jackson, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board, welcomed attendees Delta1A_Mayor lois jacksonat 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.

Langley1 - showcasing format

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:

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:

Delta8 - group scene on the bus tour


The Township of Langley

The elements of the Langley program are described in these ‘before the event’ and ‘after the event’ stories:

The foregoing are supplemented by the following stand-alone stories about the program elements:

Langley33 - fort langley, nome of sustainability?



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:

These stories are supplemented by a set of stand-alone stories that provide context on the precedent-setting aspects of the development plan::


Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia

Water sustainability action plan, july 2007 (200pixels)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.

Green infrastructure partnership - logo (may2007 version)

 Posted October 2007