FLASHBACK TO 2009: “A provincial policy framework is now in place that enables municipalities to ‘do business differently’ in order to design their communities to live in harmony with water,” stated the Ministry of Environment’s Lynn Kriwoken at a forum co-organized by the BC Green Infrastructure Partnership
Moving Beyond Pilot Projects
Hosted by the City of Surrey, the program for the Metro Vancouver Water Balance Model Forum was built around the HOW question as it pertains to green infrastructure:
- HOW will the City of Surrey get it built right;
- HOW will a consistent regional approach be achieved in Metro Vancouver?
The Forum was co-sponsored by the Water Balance Model Inter-Governmental Partnership and the Green Infrastructure Partnership, with a goal of moving beyond pilot projects to a watershed-based approach to achieving performance targets for rainwater management and green infrastructure.
Living Water Smart in British Columbia
“A provincial policy framework is now in place that enables municipalities to ‘do business differently’ in order to design their communities to live in harmony with water,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Director, Innovation and Planning in the Water Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Environment, and the Province’s lead person for delivery of Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan,
“By living water smart, communities will be more prepared for climate change and their quality of life will be enhanced.”
“A key message in Living Water Smart is that green development makes sense,” emphasizes Lynn Kriwoken. “New thinking about development leads to new benefits. These include more green spaces, more water and fish in the streams, improved community vitality, reduced demand for water, and reduced expenditure on infrastructure.”
Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards
According to Karen Rothe, the Ministry’s Manager for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Growth Strategies, and a Ministry representative on the Green Infrastructure Partnership, “At the 2007 Beyond the Guidebook Seminar, we explained why and how the Ministry of Community Development has an increasing role in ensuring that local governments are advancing and changing the ways they plan and design their communities for the better.”
“We also described how the Ministry is using the Green Communities Initiative to advance green infrastructure province-wide. We emphasized that we are slowly raising the bar for local government. For example, we are saying ‘show us what you are doing to protect stream health’. The Ministry is also providing cash awards to recognize the efforts of local governments in achieving design with nature outcomes.”
The Story of the Forum
The story of the Forum is told in a series of six stories published weekly on the Water Bucket website. These describe the elements of the Forum program, and are consolidated in a stand-alone document. To download a copy, click on The Story of the 2009 Metro Vancouver Water Balance Model Forum.
Leading up to the Forum, a series of downloadable documents were published on Water Bucket. They progressively described the elements of the Forum program in order to establish participant expectations. Briefly:
- On February 2nd, Story #1 titled Living Water Smart and Making Green Choices to Create Liveable Communities and Protect Stream Health introduced what will be covered in the morning and afternoon session
- On February 11th, Story #2 titled Making Green Choices: Opportunities for Law and Policy to Effect Change on the Ground introduced the shared responsibility theme, and is the bridge from the morning to the afternoon.
- On February 18th, Story #3 titled Green Infrastructure in the City of Surrey: “Getting it built right” elaborated on the learning outcomes for the Forum morning session.
- On February 25th, Story #4 titled Making Green Choices: Use the Water Balance Model to Inform Land Development Strategies foreshadowed how regulators and designers can apply the Water Balance Model to facilitate implementation of green infrastructure solutions.
- On March 4th, Story #5 titled Provincial Context: Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards for Green Infrastructure elaborated on the provincial and regional context that will inform local actions.
“We envisioned that the Surrey Forum would be a transformational event and a catalyst for action. One of our goals is to implement an educational program in Metro Vancouver that would be modelled on the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series,” stated Raymond Fung when he foreshadowed what to expect.