Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series


Nanaimo Region, Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley host three regional events

The projected growth of Vancouver Island and resulting cumulative impacts are drivers for reassessing where and how land is developed, and water is used. To facilitate changes related to infrastructure policies and practices, the Green Infrastructure Partnership is supporting the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island Partnership in presenting Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series. The venues and dates for the three events in the 2007 Series are:

  • Nanaimo Region– September 14
  • Cowichan Basin– September 28
  • Comox Valley – October 12

According to Paul Ham, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, “Experience shows that intra-region communication among local government practitioners is the exception rather than the rule; also, there is almost no inter-region communication. Hence, lessons learned are not being shared.”

John finnie, creating our future workshop, june 2007 “Yet practitioners in local government do want to learn from those who are innovating, and they do want to visit projects that are precedent-setting,” adds John Finnie, Chair of the CAVI Leadership Team, “They just need a starting point and a push to get the ball rolling.”

The Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation program was launched in May 2006 in the Greater Vancouver region as a provincial pilot, and was an instant success. In 2007, there will be events on Vancouver Island and in Greater Vancouver on alternating Fridays throughout September and October. For infromation on the Greater Vancouver series, please click here.

Kim stephens (120pixels)The Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia is the umbrella for the two Showcasing Innovation Series. According to Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Action Plan, “It is exciting to see how local governments are responding to the Showcasing Innovation Series. There are a lot of good things happening on the island and on the mainland.  This program enables local governments to tell their stories in a way that no other forum provides.”

Stephens also notes that the program is also creating a healthy competition that he believes will be self-fulfilling in achieving replication of design with nature outcomes. “The intent is that success will breed success, and the lasting legacy of the Showcasing Innovation Series will be a ‘practitioners network’ that continues to share approaches and lessons learned. This experience is transferable across the province,” concludes Stephens.

To download a copy of the first Announcement for the 2007 program, please click on this link to Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series. Because the number of participants will be limited by the capacity of the bus transport, registration will be first come, first served.

What is Green Infrastructure?

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.

“Desired 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.

What vancouver island could look like (with border)

Showcasing Innovation Builds Capacity

The purpose of the Showcasing Innovation Series is to celebrate… and build on…the on-the-ground successes that are enhancing the ways communities are being developed and water is being managed.

The goal is to promote networking, build regional capacity, and move ‘from awareness to action’ — through sharing of green infrastructure approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of designing with nature, according to Paul Ham and John Finnie.

Showcasing innovation - july 2007

Showcasing Innovation in the Nanaimo Region: ‘Designing with Nature’

On September 14, the Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Nanaimo will showcase their over-arching ‘green development’ policies and how they are being implemented on the ground. The combination of presentations in the morning and a tour of project sites in the afternoon will provide some insight into strengths and limitations in trying to develop in a more sustainable manner.

Three policies each address public concerns on different scales: a regional Climate Change policy (which led to Community Action Plans for Greenhouse Gas Reduction); a Steep Slope subdivision development policy, and two site-specific approaches: a Green ‘Sustainable’ building construction policy for City buildings and an alternative rainwater treatment approach taken at a commercial industrial site. Each policy and application represents a ‘first’ for either the region or the City of Nanaimo.

In the City, the site tour will feature Cottle Creek Estates (Steep Slope Development), the Oliver Road Community Centre (LEED Silver Green Building), and the ‘Island Kenworth’ site on Northfield Road. In the Regional District, the tour will feature the Fairwinds Green Solutions Demonstration Home,a rainwater infiltration pond at the RDN offices, and creek channel daylighting at the Greater Nanaimo wastewater treatment plant on Hammond Bay Road.

For program and registration details, please click on this link to download Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Nanaimo Region.  To view  a comprehensive WaterBucket  story on the projects that will be featured as part of the Nanaimo program, please click here.

City of nanaimo

Showcasing Innovation in the Cowichan Basin: ‘Partnerships and Collaboration – Moving from Concept to Reality’

On September 28, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, District of North Cowichan and City of Duncan will showcase the role of partnerships – first, in developing a shared vision of what the ‘valley future’ can look like; and next, in implementing actions that will bring the vision to fruition. The unifying theme is: to make things happen, local governments need to partner and pool resources.

The Cowichan Basin Water Management Plan has been developed through a uniquely inclusive consultation process; and provides the umbrella for aligning community development policies with emerging best practices. Featured projects will cascade down in scale from the basin….to a neighbourhood and subdivision…. to an industrial park….and to the site/house.

The setting for an interactive experience will be O.U.R. Ecovillage, located near Shawnigan Lake. The theme is blending urban with rural to achieve quality of life. Participants will be challenged to brainstorm what aspects of the Ecovillage experience can local governments transfer to an urban development setting?

Mayor jon lefebure (60pixels), district of north cowichanAccording to Jon Lefebure, Mayor of the District of North Cowichan, “We are excited to be part of the Showcasing Innovation Series. CAVI is to be commended for its approach. I am looking forward to participating on September 28.”

To Learn More:

For program and registration details, click on this link to download Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Cowichan Basin.  To view  a comprehensive WaterBucket  story on the projects that will be featured as part of the Cowichan program, click on Cowichan Valley Regional District and two member municipalities partner to co-host second in ‘2007 Showcasing Innovation Series’.

Cowichan valley water graphic

Cowichan valley

Showcasing Innovation in the Comox Valley: ‘Connecting to Sustainability’

On October 12, the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona and the City of Courtenay will showcase on-the-ground benefits that result when local governments collaborate to integrate their efforts, and are guided by an holistic way-of-thinking and acting. Case studies will demonstrate how to ‘connect the dots’ to achieve integrated and sustainable outcomes.

Featured projects will range from the Comox Lake Watershed Assessment, the first to be completed pursuant to the Province’s new ‘Comprehensive Drinking Water Source to Tap Assessment Guideline’…to servicing of the Home Depot site and surrounding commercial development area. Home Depot is the first application of deep-well injection in BC for returning rainwater runoff to the ground. Also, the innovative design of the water supply system serving the surrounding area is saving everyone money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Comox valley water supply

Green Vocabulary

To help advance a new way-of-thinking about land development, CAVI has developed and 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 Valueapproach 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.
    Design with nature (320pixels)
  • Green Infrastructure is the on-the-ground application of Design with Naturestandards and practices.
  • Water Sustainability is achieved through Green Infrastructure practices that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water.

For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here.

CAVI logp