The Green Infrastructure Partnership was an outcome of the SmartStorm Forum Series
Looking back, and in terms of green infrastructure, much of what has happened in British Columbia can be traced back to October 1997 and who was in the room when UBCM (the Union of BC Municipalities) convened a focus group workshop on the Fish Protection Act.
The coming together of a group of change agents in October 1997 set in motion a chain of events that has reverberated through time.
It has been a decade long journey.
The Chain of Events:
In a nutshell, an outcome of the October 1997 workshop was the SmartStorm Forum Series, an inter-governmental initiative…..
… which begat Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia……
…which begat the Water Balance Model for British Columbia….
…which provided early credibility for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC….
… and led to the formation of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.
The coming together of four organizations to form the Green Infrastructure Partnership was a direct outcome of the UBCM Urban Forum at the 2003 Annual Conference when the Water Balance Model was formally rolled out to elected representatives. This high profile launch was the first step in a comprehensive outreach and continuing education program that is ongoing.
The SmartStorm Forum Series
The SmartStorm Forum Series was comprised of events on Vancouver Island (Nanaimo) and the Sunshine Coast (Sechelt), and in the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows). To access a webcast of the Fraser Valley events, please click here. This event was titled:
The goal of smart development is to implement an integrated and balanced approach to land use. Smart development protects property and sustains natural systems in a cost effective manner. RAINwater management is at the heart of smart development. Whereas traditional STORMwater management is based on end-of-pipe solutions, a smart approach starts at the source – where rain falls.
A value-added dimension to the SmartStorm Forum Series was the involvement of elected representatives, in particular Mayor Barry Janyk of the Town of Gibsons. Mayor Janyk was the moderator for the last three in the series. His championing of the series led to the mayors of Abbotsford, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows stepping forward and volunteering their municipalities as hosts for the two Fraser Valley events held in 2001.
“The response to the series was simply overwhelming,” recalls Mayor Janyk, “For the first event, held in Nanaimo, the doors had to be closed when the surge of last-minute registrations reached the 250 seating capacity of the Coast Bastion venue. When we decided to host the second event on the Sunshine Coast, the skeptics asked me who would come to the Sunshine Coast. Well, they did come and they came from far and wide, including a representative of the Ontario Ministry of Environment. We attracted a capacity crowd of some 225 to the theatre in Sechelt.”
Mayor Janyk's tone-setting presentation in 2001 was titled The Political Consequences of Doing the Wrong Thing: Why Elected Officials Must Consider Smart Development.
Posted November 2007