Vancouver Island Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series a success – 2007 program resonates
Series of three events attracts local governments and other stakeholders from Campbell River south to Victoria
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 promote a new way-of-thinking related to infrastructure policies and practices, CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island organized Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series.
CAVI was supported by the Green Infrastructure Partnership in undertaking the Series. The 2006 pilot program was held in Metro Vancouver. In 2007, parallel series were held on both sides of the Georgia Basin on alternatiing Fridays during the September/October period.
This web story contains a consolidated listing of links to previous WaterBucket stories that describe each event in the Showcasing Innovation Series.
The Showcasing Innovation Series
According to John Finnie, CAVI Chair, “The goal in showcasing innovation and celebrating successes was 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.”
“There are a lot of good things happening throughout Vancouver Island. Yet practitioners in local government are not necessarily aware when they are being innovative and are not often aware of innovation in other municipalities,” continues John Finnie, “Because people are so busy in their own worlds, it takes a third party to connect them. That is the role that CAVI plays.”
“The Showcasing Innovation Series creates pride and enables local governments to tell their stories in a way that no other forum currently provides,” observes Kim Stephens, Series organizer and event Moderator, and Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
According to Kim Stephens, “A Showcasing Innovation event is not a conference. Neither is it a workshop nor seminar in the conventional sense. Rather the purpose of the presentations is to whet the appetites of participants for the site tour that follows. The quality one-on-one conversations take place on the bus and when we go for a walkabout.”
Organization & Response:
Each event was co-hosted by a regional district and one or more of its member muncipaliteis. Each event comprised presentations in the morning and a tour of project sites in the afternoon. Each event was unique.
A CAVI theme is that it often takes a third party to bring busy people together. This is the CAVI role. According to Kim Stephens, “Experience shows that intra-region communication among local governments tends to be the exception rather than the rule. The CAVI objective is to turn the exception into the rule ”
Support for the Showcasing Innovation Series starts at the top. Chairs of three regional districts made opening statements at each event. For the complete story, please click here.
Registration for each event was capped based on bus capacity. The total registration was approximately 140. While a number of people attended two or even three of the events, the majority attended only one event. In all three cases, the seats on the bus were filled quickly.
Attendance at Nanaimo Event:
Over 50 people from far and wide registered for the Nanaimo event. “The diverse audience was comprised of representatives from four regional districts, ten municipalities, three provincial ministries, and a half-dozen private sector organizations. Included in the audience were elected representatives, senior managers, and on-the-ground practitioners,” reports John Finnie.
Attendance at Cowichan Valley Event:
Close to 50 people registered for the Cowichan event. “When we looked at who registered, we were struck by the diversity of the audience. There were representatives from four regional districts, ten municipalities, two provincial ministries, a number of private sector organizations, and several non-government organizations,” observes John Finnie.
Attendance at Comox Valley Event:
Over 40 people registered for the Comox Valley event. “There were representatives from three regional districts, ten municipalities, the Clearbrook Waterworks District from the Fraser Valley, two provincial ministries, a number of private sector organizations, and several non-government organizations,” reports Kim Stephens.
The Regional District of Nanaimo and the City of Nanaimo co-hosted the first event. The elements of the Nanaimo progam are described in two comprehensive stories, one before the event and the other after:
- Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Nanaimo co-host first in ‘2007 Showcasing Innovation Series’ – ‘Design with Nature’ is the event theme for celebrating Green Infrastructure
- Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series on Vancouver Island launched in Nanaimo – First of three events shows there is an appetite for networking and sharing of lessons learned
In addition to these comprehensive stories, a number of stand-alone stories provide details of projects which were showcased. Links for before and after stories are listed below:
- City of Nanaimo Implements Green Building Policy: Oliver Road Community Centre will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation on Vancouver Island Series’
- Oliver Road Community Centre is the first LEED Silver civic building in Nanaimo: City implements Green Building Policy
- City of Nanaimo Industrial Development Demonstrates ‘Design with Nature’ Solution: Inland Kenworth site will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation on Vancouver Island Series’
- Inland Kenworth industrial site in the CIty of Nanaimo establishes ‘design with nature’ precedent: Rainwater management plan reduces ‘hydrologic footprint’ by capturing rain where it falls
- City of Nanaimo Implements Steep Slope Development Policy: Cottle Creek Estates will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation on Vancouver Island Series’
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Regional District of Nanaimo: Community Action Plans will be featured in the ‘Showcasing Innovation on Vancouver Island Series’
The Cowichan Valley Regional District, the District of North Cowichan, and the City of Duncan co-hosted the second event. The elements of the Cowichan progam are also described in two comprehensive stories, one before the event and the other after:
- Cowichan Valley Regional District and two member municipalities partner to co-host second in ‘2007 Showcasing Innovation Series’ – ‘Partnerships and Collaboration’ is the event theme for celebrating Green Infrastructure
- Local Governments in the Cowichan Basin Showcase Green Infrastructure Innovation – Second of three events focuses on role of partnerships in moving a vision from concept to reality
These comprehensive stories are supplemented by a number of stand-alone stories. The latter elaborate on projects which were showcased. Links are listed below:
- Cowichan Basin Water Management Plan: from Awareness to Action: Water Plan will be featured in the “Showcasing Innovaton on Vancouver Island Series”
- City of Duncan vision is to be one of the most liveable small towns in Canada: Official Community Plan will be featured in the “Showcasing Innovaton on Vancouver Island Series”
- Blending Urban with Rural in the District of North Cowichan: ‘Green’ developments will be featured in the “Showcasing Innovaton on Vancouver Island Series”
- Development of ‘O.U.R. Ecovillage’ on Vancouver Island established a Canadian precedent: Model sustainable village community will be featured in the “Showcasing Innovaton on Vancouver Island Series”
The Comox Strathcona Regional District and the City of Courtenay co-hosted the third event. As with the Nanaimo and Cowichan programs, the elements of the Comox progam are described in two comprehensive stories, one before the event and the other after:
- Comox Strathcona Regional District and City of Courtenay co-host third in Showcasing Innovation Series – ‘Connecting to Sustainability’ is the event theme for celebrating Green Infrastructure
- Local Governments in the Comox Valley Showcase Green Infrastructure Innovation – Third of three events focuses on role of communication, collaboration and cost-sharing in progressing to sustainability
In addition to the above comprehensive stories, these stand-alone stories provide details of the projects which were showcased. Links are listed below:
- Municipal Collaboration – Making it Happen in the Comox Valley: Collaboration is one of the keys to ‘connecting to sustainability’ at the operational level
- Comox Lake Watershed Assessment – from Awareness to Action on Vancouver Island: Precedent established for Britsh Columbia’s Comprehensive Drinking Water Source to Tap Assessment Guideline
- Innovation in the Comox Valley: First Wal-Mart, Then Home Depot: Capturing rainwater runoff where it falls
- City of Courtenay the First British Columbia Municipality to Implement a ‘Soil Depth Policy’
- Absorbent Soil for Rainwater Management – Lessons Learned in the City of Courtenay
Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum
The success of the Showcasing Innovation Series has laid the groundwork for a Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum which will be held on December 3, 2007. This will be co-hosted by CAVI and the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities.
This event is designed for elected representatives and senior managers in local government. The Leadership Forum is viewed as a first step to enabling Vancouver Island municipalities and regional districts to align their regional growth strategies and official community plans to achieve A Positive Settlement Strategy for Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities. For more on this story, please click here.
Who is CAVI?
The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Services, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery.
Posted October 2007