Inter-departmental integration in the City of Campbell River facilitates ‘green’ development
Note to Readers:
The following story about innovation and leadership in the City of Campbell River is extracted from Chapter 7 of Beyond the Guidebook 2010, released in June 2010. This water-centric guidance document tells the stories of how change is being implemented on the ground in BC
‘Green’ Development on Vancouver Island
The City of Campbell is one of a number of Vancouver Island municipalities that is incrementally implementing a new culture that achieves the goal of watershed protection. These municipalities have successfully challenged their local development communities to meet higher municipal expectations for ‘green’development.
A Ministry of Environment Perspective
At the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series hosted by the City of Courtenay, Margaret (Maggie) Henigman of the Ministry of Environment’s Nanaimo regional office provided this perspective during a town hall sharing session: “Since 1996 I have been working across Vancouver Island, both reviewing development proposals and monitoring project implementation. In the last couple of years I have been really pleased to see a huge shift take place in the way projects are being done.”
“As I reflect on the current Vancouver Island situation, it strikes me that we have created a new social norm; and it is being accepted by the development community as a whole. The change in attitude is really gaining momentum. Everywhere I go I am seeing evidence of the new ethic. It is not that everyone is perfect, but the change is really coming along.”
Campbell River Innovation & Leadership
At the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series, Rob Buchan explained the City of Campbell River’s approach to inter-departmental integration; and how the Development Review Committee is helping to achieve the City’s sustainability vision. He is the manager of the newly created Land Use Services Department.
“Two major considerations in working together are structure and small ‘c’ culture,” stated Rob Buchan. “Our new structure facilitates working together. Everyone in the department has something to do with land use and development.”
“Our Development Review Committee is an example of how process (small c cultural) can assist the communication process. We can invite developers in at any stage in the application. Earlier is better because then we have more ability to effect positive change. We invite other stakeholders as well: fire, parks, sustainability and environment. We all sit there together. We hear the application. We talk about it and we communicate. This forces us out of our silos.”
“Our interests are not always the same. We have to dialogue and come up with solutions. This facilitates the ability of the departments to work together as a team towards the corporate goals.”
To Learn More:
To view a YouTube video of Rob Buchan describing the Campbell River approach, click on What it takes to work together effectively (3:37)
Beyond the Guidebook 2010
Released in June 2010 at the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 describes how water sustainability can and will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices.
Beyond the Guidebook 2010 demonstrates that the practitioner culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration, partnerships and alignment; and provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans.