Green Infrastructure in Metro Vancouver: Langley Township, Delta and Vancouver are leading by example
Note to Readers:
The following story about innovation and leadership in Metro Vancouver 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. To download a PDF copy of the article below, click on Green Infrastructure in Metro Vancouver
Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Metro Vancouver
“The goal in showcasing innovation is to promote networking and build regional capacity….by sharing green infrastructure approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of designing with nature”, states Ray Fung, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership. “It was exciting to see how local governments responded to the Metro Vancouver pilot in 2006.”
“In 2006 and again in 2007, the Showcasing Innovation Series created opportunities to have one-on-one conversations where learning takes place. Each event comprised background presentations in the morning and a tour of project sites in the afternoon.”
“The site tour created those unplanned moments for spontaneous and effective sharing of knowledge and lessons learned.”
New Neighbourhoods and Green Infrastructure Innovation in Langley
“The Township is walking the talk when it comes to putting sustainability into practice,” Colin Wright (General Manager, Engineering) stated at the 2007 event. “As municipalities, we are the focal point. We have to show leadership on-the-ground. We have to be in harmony with nature. When we are in harmony with nature, things will go well. In Langley, we believe there is a sea-change about to happen. The community is ready for green infrastructure.”
“The Routley, Yorkson and Northeast Gordon neighbourhood communities illustrate how a ‘water-centric’ approach is changing the way that land is developed in Langley,” stated Ramin Seifi, Director of the Community Development Division.
“Each neighbourhood features a different green innovation: A multi-purpose greenway and shallow infiltration systems on individual residential properties were first implemented in Routley; a ‘third-pipe system’ for roof drainage connects to a sand filtration treatment system and deep-well injection for aquifer recharge in Yorkson; and most recently, we have built truly ‘green streets’ in North East Gordon Estates.”
To Learn More:
The Langley event focused on how a ‘water-centric’ approach is changing the way that land is developed. The Township showcased what can be accomplished with large-scale projects when Council, the community and staff are in alignment and embrace a ‘green culture’. Resource protection – for groundwater supply and fisheries habitat – is the driver for implementing ‘green infrastructure’.
To read the complete story, click on Township of Langley Showcases Green Infrastructure Innovation in New Neighbourhoods.
Landscape-Based Rainwater Management in Delta
“We have some 500 kilometres of roadways, and we have embarked upon a long-term program to systematically and incrementally improve the urban landscape. The corporate vision is to enhance community liveability by beautifying streets, one block at a time,” states Hugh Fraser, Deputy Engineer of Engineering.
“Within the engineering department, Delta has added a landscape designer to the engineering design team to assist with incorporating rainwater capture technologies into landscaped amenities that beautify roadways.”
To Learn More:
In 2007, the Delta event highlighted the importance of small-scale projects in achieving the big picture.
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 story, click on Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series in Metro Vancouver launched in Delta.
‘Green’ Streets in Vancouver
By 2005, the City had established two BC precedents with the Country Lanes and Crown Street projects. These demonstrated the ease of rainwater infiltration.
“The City of Vancouver is proud to have contributed to the ‘working with nature’ philosophy and applying the principles of the WBM to the City’s Olympic Village project,” states the City’s David Desrochers, Manager, Sewers & Drainage Design. “Furthermore, we are looking forward to the success of the East Fraserlands redevelopment project as it will become the largest site application of the WBM in the City of Vancouver.”
To Learn More:
In 2006, the City of Vancouver was a host municipality for the Celebrating Green Infrastructure pilot program. The event was co-hosted the University of British Columbia. The unifying theme was “Greening Local Roadways – Integration of Rainwater Management & Transportation Design”.
To read the complete story, click on Showcasing Innovation in the City of Vancouver and at the University of British Columbia
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.
Posted August 2010