FLASHBACK TO 2007: BC Green Infrastructure Partnership promoted a new way-of-way thinking about land development —— prelude to the Ecological Accounting Protocol


Water Sustainability can be Achieved through Green Infrastructure Practices

Paul Ham_2008_120p“There is a plethora of ‘green’ vocabulary that we now hear on a daily basis,” stated Paul Ham in 2007. At the time, he was the Chair of the BC Green Infrastructure Partnership.

“To develop a common understanding plus  help advance a new way-of-thinking about land development, the Green Infrastructure Partnership is promoting use of the following hierarchy of ‘green’ vocabulary:

  • Green Value means land use strategies will accommodate settlement needs in practical ways while protecting the ecological resources upon which communities depend. At the heart of a Green Value approach is the valuation methodology that provides the business case for reconciliation of short-term versus long-term thinking related to risk and profit.
  • Design with Nature is one approach to achieve Green Value, and is supportive of community goals that relate to building social capacity.
  • Green Infrastructure is the on-the-ground application of Design with Nature standards and practices.
  • Water Sustainability is achieved through Green Infrastructure practices that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water.

“We unveiled this cascading vocabulary at the Creating Our Future Workshop in June 2007, held in conjunction with the Gaining Ground Summit in Victoria. The workshop was organized by the Green Infrastructure Partnership under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan.”

tim-pringle_2008_120p“The Creating Our Future Workshop was a consultation opportunity for Vancouver Island local governments that are interested in implementing infrastructure practices and regulation that result in green value,” added Tim Pringle, former Executive Director, Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. In 2010, he became the inaugural President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.


Green Infrastructure Defined

Green infrastructure is associated with the management of water that runs off the land and how water runoff impacts on the sustainability of both terrestrial and aquatic habitat and resources.

Green infrastructure is also associated with how water is used and how water use impacts on the sustainability of water supply.

KimStephens_March2006_v2_120pDesired outcomes for water sustainability and green infrastructure can be achieved through infrastructure standards that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water”, explains Kim Stephens, at the time Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan. He is now the Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.


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 gip-logoprovince-wide. Implementation by local governments will be voluntary, but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will need clearly defined standards.

After incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC as a not-for-profit society in 2010, the responsibilities of the GIP were assumed by the Partnership for Water Sustainability.