BC Municipalities Lead Way with Eco-Sensitive Streets:

 Crown street - grand opening  (360 pixels)

A number of British Columbia municipalities have embraced the concept of “sustainable streets” and have recently completed flagship projects:

  • The City of Vancouver’s Crown Street has the highest profile as the result of a $1.4 million investment in road reconstruction along a three-block stretch in the City’s Southlands, an older neighbourhood. To view a video, click on this link to construction of Crown Street eco-sensitive roadway
  • In the District of Maple Ridge, a Fraser Valley municipality, the new Silver Ridge residential development reflects a ‘design with nature’ approach to rainwater management.
  • In the City of Chilliwack, also located in the Fraser Valley, water balance management has been embedded in the City’s land development standards and several dozen projects have been completed.

Vancouver, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge were founding members of the Inter-Governmental Partnership that funded development of the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

To view a slideshow that summarizes how the City of Chilliwack has implemented a City-wide approach to surface water management and sustainable subdivision design, please click here.

To view a slideshow that illustrates how the 393 single family Silver Ridge development was developed as a demonstration project, please click here. Road runoff is discharged to ‘rain gardens’ and rock under-drains in accordance with the water balance philosophy.


Crown street - signage (360 pixels)

July 30, 2005, Vancouver, BC – City of Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), on behalf of the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of the Environment, and City of Vancouver Councillor Jim Green, representing the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), participated today in the Grand Opening of Vancouver’s first sustainable street: Crown Street, a residential city street located in the Southlands Community of Vancouver, supported by a $593,350 Green Municipal Funds’ grant.

This represents the completion of Phase I of the Crown Street Streetscape and Fish Habitat pilot project in which a typical curb-and-gutter street has been redesigned into one that is traffic-calmed with minimal impermeable surfaces and a naturalized storm water management system.

Phase II of the project will see the replacement of the stream crossings over two of Vancouver’s last salmon bearing streams, Musqueam and Cutthroat creeks; street rehabilitation; and pedestrian safety improvements between W 46th Avenue and W 48th Avenue. The City of Vancouver is doing the project in partnership with the Musqueam First Nation and the local community.


Crown street - completed (360 pixels)

“This section of Crown Street is located in an eco-sensitive and historically important setting, containing a wetland and two of the few remaining salmon spawning streams in the City of Vancouver,” said Mayor Campbell. “This project meets the City of Vancouver’s objective of incorporating enhanced sustainability into city operations by providing an innovative model of best practices for street design. It also gives us an opportunity to greatly improve salmon habitat in Cutthroat and Musqueam Creeks.”

The Government of Canada has endowed $550 million to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to establish and manage the Green Municipal Funds. The Funds support partnerships and leverage both public and private sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

“This Green Municipal Funds’ project will set an important precedent and lay out a roadmap with lessons learned for other municipalities to draw upon in the future,” said the Honourable Stephen Owen.  “The Funds’ support for projects like this is helping Canadian municipal governments − large and small, urban and rural − secure their future growth and progress.  It attests to the commitment of the Government of Canada to help municipal governments develop new and innovative approaches to sustainable community planning.”

“FCM is pleased to support this project through the Green Municipal Funds,” said Councillor Green, representing FCM. “It takes storm water management to a new level for street construction and reconstruction and clearly demonstrates the benefits of incorporating environmental design into traditional core infrastructure planning. The techniques chosen are simple, efficient and economically feasible. They work with the site environment, not against existing natural systems.”

In addition to the Green Municipal Funds support, the almost $1.4 million project is being funded by $705,162 from the City of Vancouver, $50,000 from the local community, $33,000 from the Musqueam Indian Band, and $9,200 from the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life in communities by promoting strong, effective and accountable municipal government.

For more information:
Jonathan Helmus, EIT
Project Manager, City of Vancouver Engineering Services
(604) 873-7382
Email: jonathan.helmus@vancouver.ca

Lucille Hodgins
Manager, Community Liaison, Green Municipal Funds
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
(613) 241-5221 ext. 299
Email: lhodgins@fcm.ca

Sebastien Bois
Senior Media Relations Officer
Ministerial Communications
Environment Canada
(819) 953-4016 / (613) 240-6637

For more information on the Green Municipal Funds, including details of other approved projects and studies, visit FCM’s Knowledge Network at http://kn.fcm.ca/

Also, please visit FCM’s main website at http://www.fcm.ca/ for information on all Federation activities.

City of Vancouver information can be obtained at http://www.vancouver.ca/

Environment Canada information can be obtained at http://www.ec.gc.ca/