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Complete Communities

FLASHBACK TO 2008 / CREATE LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES: “In the first year of the Living Water Smart rollout, my lead-off presentation in the inaugural Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series traced the evolution of rainwater and stormwater management policies and practices in British Columbia. This provided a frame-of-reference and a common understanding for subsequent seminars,” stated Kim Stephens, series team leader


“In 2008, the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series was held in both the Comox and Cowichan valleys. This program was the first step in building a regional team approach so that there would be consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure in BC. By spreading the curriculum over three sessions, this enabled participants to take in new information, reflect on it, blend it with their own experience, test it, and (we hoped) eventually apply it in making decisions,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Truly Sustainable Cities Are All About Balance: “Smart urban growth hailed by global organizations is not always a smart move for nature,” wrote Vitaliy Soloviy in an article posted by Sustainability Times


“Yet the successes of sustainable cities show that progress is possible. Effective planning and urban governance, as well as a focus on livability, are all essential elements of sustainable cities. Emerging sustainable technologies promise a thrilling future. Still, even the most developed sustainable cities of tomorrow will have a few things to learn from ecovillages and slow cities that have already learned to live sustainably in the now,” wrote Vitaliy Soloviy .

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THE RESTORATION ECONOMY: “During the last two decades of the twentieth century, new development lost significant ‘market share’ to another mode: restorative development,” wrote Storm Cunningham, author & futurist (2002)


“How could we miss a story like that? More importantly, why is it happening? Primarily, it’s because we’ve now developed most of the world that can be developed without destroying some other inherent value or vital function,” wrote Storm Cunningham. “The major driver of economic growth in the 21st century will be redeveloping our nations, revitalizing our cities, and rehabilitating and expanding our ecosystems. Those leaders who become aware of this vast new frontier of opportunity, and guide their community, national, and company futures in this direction, will be the foremost leaders of the 21st century.”

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“The Liuzhou Forest City is the first experiment of the urban environment that’s really trying to find a balance with nature,” said Stefano Boeri, an internationally acclaimed architect


In 2016, China’s State Council released guidelines shifting the focus to the “economic, green and beautiful.” This shift created the opportunity for Stefano Boeri to implement his Forest City vision. The project comes on the heels of Vertical Forest, two residential towers in Milan covered in the equivalent of five acres of forest. “We started to imagine if it was possible to create an urban environment created from many of these vertical forests,” stated Stefano Boeri.

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DESIGN WITH NATURE: Renowned developer and urban thinker Jonathan Rose argues for new criteria for urban planning and development in his epic book ‘The Well-Tempered City’


“The well-tempered city is not just a dream. Our current best practices in the planning, design, engineering, economics, social science, and governance of cities are moving us closer to increasing urban wellbeing. Even if these actions have only a modest effect when taken alone, their power emerges when they are integrated. Well-tempered cities will be refuges from volatility,” wrote Jonathan Rose.

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: ‘Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities’, by Patrick Condon


“Right now the Lower Mainland of British Columbia leads any other region in both Canada and the United States in reversing the rush to global climate collapse. It is therefore up to a new generation to coalesce around a common vision for the future — a common vision deeply grounded in the pioneering efforts of the previous generation,” states Patrick Condon.

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Creating Our Future: The Natural City Vision


“Collectively, the three lenses bring our future into focus. The picture they define is one of environmental, social and economic sustainability. It portrays a new approach that cannot be accomplished with tinkering and incremental change. Instead, bold and visionary action will be needed,” states Vic Derman.

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