Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Town of View Royal: "It was worth the day"




View royal - ihip grant


Case study exercise promotes ecosystem approach to streetscape enhancement in the Capital Regional District

Building on the interest and momentum generated by successful series on both sides of the Georgia Basin in 2007, CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island collaborated with the Capital Regional District and the Green Infrastructure Partnership to present Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Capital Region: The 2008 Series.

The first in the series was on September 12 and was hosted by the Town of View Royal. Ten of the 13 municipalities in the Capital Regional District were represented. In addition, there was participation from the District of North Cowichan. For a program overview, click on this link to download a copy of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Town of View Royal. Attendance was capped at 32.


Town of View Royal implements ecosystem-based plan for enhancement of old Island Highway

View Royal developed an innovative Design with Nature strategy to obtain senior government funding for retrofitting the old Island Highway with transportation and rainwater management enhancements. These will achieve environmental, water quality and social sustainability objectives at both the road and community scales. A driver is restoration of Portage Inlet.

According to the BC Ministry of Community Development, the Town of View Royal has developed a Green Infrastructure Grant Template that establishes a provincial benchmark for other municipalities to measure themselves against when applying for senior government funding. In 2007, the Town’s vision and innovation was rewarded by a $7.4 million grant to fund the first phase of a holistic, ecosystem approach to reconstructing and enhancing the old Island Highway.

View royal showcasing - aerial photo


Case Study Exercise Creates Opportunity for Inter-Municipal Sharing of Experience and Approaches

The Showcasing Innovation day was built around an interactive  group exercise using case study examples provided by the City of Langford, City of Victoria, District of Sooke, and District of Metchosin. Each group was tasked with developing a concept for enhancing a specific section of real road.

Emmet McCusker, View Royal’s Director of Engineering, had a vision for providing participants with something tangible as a take-away in order to make the day worthwhile,” explains Kim Stephens, series organizer and Program Coordinator for  for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. “Emmet wanted to raise the bar in the region by helping his peers bring innovative ideas to the forefront when applying for provincial infrastructure grants.”

“Unfortunately, a family medical emergency prevented Emmet from leading the exercise,” continues Kim Stephens. “Fortunately, Wayne Gibson had worked with Emmet to develop the vision for the Master Transportation Plan. With minimal notice, Wayne stepped into the breach to play the role of Emmet. He spoke from the heart and did a great job of ensuring that everyone had a successful case study experience.”

View royal showcasing -kim-emmet-wayne


“It was worth the day!”

View royal showcasing -  gary pleven (160p)According to Gary Pleven, Stormwater Quality Officer with the City of Victoria Engineering Department, “It was worth the day! The case study exercise worked for me. Thanks to the inspiration provided by the other members of the working group, I came away with a concept design for a street enhancement project. The exercise demonstrated the power of brainstorming when a group has something specific to focus their creativity.”

Catriona Weidman of the Ministry of Community Development provided the working groups with a reality-check. After each of the case study working groups had reported out to the group as a whole, Catriona provided feedback on how well each group had fulfilled the spirit of the Ministry’s evaluation criteria.


View royal showcasing - working groups

View royal showcasing - reporting out

View royal showcasing - reporting out


PowerPoint Presentations

View royal showcasing - presentation team

View royal showcasing - powerpoint collage


A set of four PowerPoint presentations provided context for the day and set the scene for a walkabout through Portage Park and along the old Island Highway. The walkabout provided an on-the-ground opportunity to visualize how the Town of View Royal will implement its vision for ‘designing with nature’.

View royal showcasing - garth graham ppt (320p)

 View royal showcasing - crowd scene


Links to YouTube Videos

Click on the images below to access and view video clips on YouTube of the members of the VIew Royal presentation team telling their stories. These video clips supplement the PowerPoint presentations and provide context and flavour.

Mayor Graham Hill provides opening comments, and emphasizes the need to address climate change through adaptation strategies. “We are in a time of change,” he said.

Kim Stephens, Showcasing Moderator, provides a brief synopsis of the genesis of the Showcasing Innovation Series and how the program has evolved since 2006. “It’s lonely being a champion,” he said.


Eric Bonham:

In this first of two 10-minute segments, Eric Bonham explains how CAVI started with a conversation and is a bottom-up initiative. “CAVI promotes water-centric planning and a Design with Nature way of thinking and acting,” he said.

In the second of two 10-minute segments, Eric Bonham explains what a Design with Nature approach means, and summarizes the 2007 and 2008 CAVI program deliverables. “The mission is to create a legacy,” he concluded.


Glen Brown:

In the first of two 10-minute segments, Glen Brown of the Ministry of Community Development explains why the Province’s mantra is “Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards. “It is about goals and outcomes,” he stated.

In the second of two 10-minute segments, Glen Brown elaborated on how the Province sees building capacity towards sustainability. “Prgram integration is leveraging change,” he observed.


Lehna Malmkvist:

In this brief video clip, Lehna Malmkvist introduces the scope of her rain garden presentation and demonstrates how the portable rain garden works by pouring dirty water onto the garden surface and oening a drain valve at the bottom..


Garth Graham:

In the first of three 10-minute segments, Garth Graham provides a global overview to illustrate how an Internet-based strategy could enable Canada to adapt the Japanese experience so that Canada could meet its Kyoto targets.

In the second of three 10-minute segments, Garth Graham elaborated on why the Internet Protocol is a fundamental assault on traditional telecom methods.”Canada does not have a national strategy,” he said.

In the third of three 10-minute segments, Garth Graham reviews the rationale for an open fibre optic network being a municipally-owned public utility. “The best option is a public-public partnership that is community-based,” he said


Photographs – Walkabout

View royal showcasing - walkabout

View royal showcasing - walkabout

View royal showcasing - walkabout

View royal showcasing - lehna malmkvist


About the 2008 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series

The goal of the Showcasing Innovation Series is to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently — The New Business As Usual — through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation.

UVIC showcasing - 2008 schedule

UVIC showcasing - format

 Posted October 2008