2007 Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum: Measuring success



Objectives in stimulating a region-wide dialogue on ‘A Positive Settlement Strategy for Vancouver Island’

The Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum, held on December 3rd 2007 in Nanaimo, was designed to start a conversation that will lead to a region-wide dialogue in 2008 about Why, Where and How development should occur on Vancouver Island.


A Positive Settlement Strategy for Vancouver Island

The Leadership Forum was a collaborative effort of the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island partnership and the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC).

CAVI is a regional pilot program that is being implemented under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. AVICC represents local government on Vancouver Island.

VI forum - john finnie (160p)According to John Finnie, CAVI Chair, “By 2010, the CAVI vision is that Vancouver Island will be on its way to achieving water sustainability; and further, that this outcome will be achieved through Green Infrastructure practices that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water.”

To provide a focus for a region-wide dialogue, CAVI is branding the desired outcome as A Positive Settlement Strategy.


Impact of Snowstorm

The snowstorm that hit Vancouver Island on December 1st and 2nd meant that the format for the Leadership Forum had to be adjusted at the last minute.

Just over 90 people signed up to attend and 60 came – not bad, given the circumstances. VI forum - mary miller (160p)According to Mary Miller, Forum Coordinator, “Had we had full attendance, we would have had an almost even split between elected representatives (including 8 mayors / regional chairs), regional and municipal staff, and others such as provincial government staff, academics, NGOs, consultants and so on. We would have had representation from 8 regional districts and 23 municipalities.”

According to Tim Pringle, Executive Director of the Real Estate Foundation, “We had identified a set of eight local government case studies that were intended Tim pringle (120p)solely as conversation starters for two streams of breakout groups – one regional and the other municipal. We called them our Matrix of Initiatives. The intent was that the AVICC Directors would monitor the discussions and then do the reporting out.  Unfortunately, the majority of the Executive and our facilitators/resource specialists were unable to make it to the Leadership Forum. So we had to improvise a Plan B.”

“Under Plan B, we collapsed the number of groups from 8 to 4; and we asked each group to identify a policy and tool(s) that would achieve a settlement in balance with ecology outcome,” explains Tim Pringle.


Measures of Success

VI forum - kim stephens (120p)Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Action Plan, provides this perspective on the Leadership Forum: “Once you strip away all the rhetoric, the CAVI Leadership Team simply wanted to get people thinking about and talking about what it means to them when we say: Positive Settlement Strategy. If this concept resonates and starts to become common currency over time, then that is a measure of success.”


Six Objectives

A synopsis of what the CAVI Leadership Team wished to accomplish versus the results on December 3rd is summarized in terms of six objectives for the day:

  1. CAVI wanted to reach/engage local government practitioners in an extensive way, and this was achieved: AVICC was a formal collaborator; AVICC members were heavily involved in the Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series and at the Leadership Forum. 
    Score: 8 of 10
  2. CAVI wanted to enable their conversation: the Forum program was well focused on local and regional government context; on Official Community Plan and Regional Growth Strategy processes.
    Score:  8 of 10
  3. CAVI wanted to find out what is on the minds of these practitioners through the roundtable, breakout groups and reactions to key presenters.
    Score: 6 of 10
  4. CAVI wanted to feature preferred practices…Felice Mazzoni of the District of Ucluelet carried the day
    Score: 8 of 10
  5. CAVI wanted to move to the next effective strategy, service, product: This was accomplished as the concept for a Catalogue of preferred practice emerged.
    Score: 9 of 10
  6. CAVI wanted to have a process and event that continues to build the CAVI advisory group expertise ability.
    Score: 7 of 10

For the story of the day, please click on this link to report on 2007 Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum summarizes what was accomplished.



Bryan Shoji, General Manager of Infrastructure Services for the Sunshine Coast Regional District, provided this testimonial:  “I just wanted to let you know how great I found the Green Infrastructure Forum recap report.  I think all forums/seminars should provide a similar recap, as it provides attendees the ability to easily share what they learned with others, and may possibly save the same attendees hours of report writing time if they are required to prepare summary reports for their senior managers or Committee/Councils.”


Posted December 2007