Archive:

2024

DESIGN WITH NATURE TO CREATE LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT STREAM HEALTH: “Replacement of curb-and-gutter with a blue link rain garden is a perfect illustration of integration in action. I said to staff just do it,” stated Ramin Seifi, former General Manager of engineering and planning with Langley Township in the Metro Vancouver region


Langley’s approach to achieving water balance through green Infrastructure evolved as successive neighbourhoods were built over the past two decades. In the beginning, the focus for Green Infrastructure was on what could be achieved within greenways. Langley staff then turned their attention to rain gardens. Building on their history of successes, their next evolution was implementation of “blue links”, which is another name for rain gardens. The blue link is symbolic of the transformational change which has taken root in the Township in the 21st century as designing with nature became the ‘new normal’.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “A truly wise person remains teachable their entire lives, always curious and open to hearing new ideas and learning new things,” wrote Bernadette O’Connor, Editor, in the Winter 2024 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter IN BRITISH COLUMBIA:


“The term deep knowledge is generally referring to the effective sharing of knowledge that has been informed by a lot of experience. Thus, a work environment that encourages exploring and adapting to new knowledge as well as sharing senior knowledge and learned experience will generate better problem solvers and decisions. A balanced method to form institutional knowledge will draw benefit from the knowledge and experience of senior staff without discounting the contribution of new ideas, approaches, and information,” wrote Bernadette O’Connor.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “Knowledge transfer is a broken process in local government,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (Winter 2024 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)


“Organizational and intergenerational amnesia is real and has a downside. It results in unintended consequences. Superficial understandings do not yield solutions to complex problems. One needs deep knowledge. The ramifications of amnesia are cause for concern in an era when systems of all kinds are being subjected to repeated shocks that test their resiliency. At the same time, councils and boards are grappling with top-down decisions or directives by senior governments. But how effective can they be when knowledge transfer in local government is broken?” asked Kim Stephens.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “We get a wide variety of education and skill sets on Councils and Boards often with very different interests. This makes communications complex and challenging,” stated Christina Benty, a former mayor of Golden in southeast British Columbia (Winter 2024 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)


“There are two young fish swimming along who happen to meet an older fish. The older fish nods at them and says: ‘Morning boys, how’s the water?’ The two young fish swim on for a bit and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and asks: ‘What the hell is water?’ The story also begs the question, what makes the older fish so much wiser? We must infer that it is his experience. That is, the older fish only knows about water because he’s been either outside the fishbowl or in many different fishbowls,” wrote Christina Benty.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “We are looking forward to the challenge, to developing our internal capacity and cross-departmental integration, and to having some fun together along the way,” stated Jacqueline Weston, Asset Management Program Manager with the District of Saanich (Winter 2024 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)


“The District of Saanich 2019-2023 Strategic Plan included the development of an asset management strategy. The team now has a Council approved road map for the next five years on our journey towards sustainable service delivery. Implementation of the plan will advance Saanich’s Asset Management practices in each of the four core elements of the Asset Management BC framework (assets, information, finances and people), and will result in completion of Saanich’s first-generation Asset Management Plans by 2027.

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DESIGN WITH NATURE TO CREATE LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT STREAM HEALTH: “Sharing knowledge across departments and municipalities is a big one for developing and implementing truly integrated plans,” stated Melony Burton, Manager of Infrastructure Planning with the City of Port Coquitlam in Metro Vancouver


“In my work, I continue to apply the ten principles that I developed at Coquitlam when we delivered nine Integrated Watershed Management Plans in just 10 years. Three of the 10 are universally applicable to any area of infrastructure planning: take action, start small, stay practical. Staying true to these has helped me deliver so much. Develop a really good strategy coming out of the gate and stay super focused. Do not go down rabbit holes. You can always circle back later. Rather than just diving in, start with getting the lessons learned from what others have tried first,” stated Melony Burton.

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EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS, IS AN EXPRESSION OF BLUE ECOLOGY: “Streams need a place to be. If we cannot get our heads around that, we are not going to keep our streams,” stated Tim Pringle, a founding director and Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability


“Because nature is a system, you cannot slice and dice it. EAP recognizes this and is a financial tool to give streams the support they need to survive. EAP provides a value picture of a stream system as a land use. How are Blue Ecology and EAP interconnected? Blue Ecology emphasizes the social perspective for protecting watersheds and streams. EAP shows how to achieve that outcome. EAP builds on the ‘big idea’ that use and conservation of land are equal values. Where Blue Ecology and EAP come together is in recognizing the importance of water and ecological assets in those two contexts,” stated Tim Pringle.

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DESIGN WITH NATURE TO CREATE LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT STREAM HEALTH: “With the exodus of baby-boomers, there are few left in the work force that know the history and drivers behind many plans, policies and regulations,” stated Robert Hicks, a career engineer-planner in local government in the Metro Vancouver region


“The notion of a superficial understanding explains the challenge that I am seeing. There are post-2000 graduate engineers coming out of university who are familiar with green infrastructure ideas and concepts, but they do not know the details behind them: details that they did not have to know at university or in their previous jobs. Sure, they understand rainwater management ideas and concepts at a high level. But without the background and history, can they really appreciate why certain targets and approaches were selected while others were not?” stated Robert Hicks.

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