Convening for Action in the City of Langford: Integrated Service Delivery – Transforming the Community




Langford showcasing - westhills master plan


The Making of Westhills Green Community: Creating a Community in the Fullest Sense

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 second in the series was hosted by the City of Langford on September 26 in collaboration with the Westhillls Green Community, and was attended by almost 50 people from a variety of organizations.. Ten of thirteen Capital Region municipalities were represented. For a program overview, click on this link to download a copy of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the City of Langford.


Langfrod showcasing - council chambers


Bridging Engineering & Planning

The focus of the day was on how to create neighbourhoods that integrate both good planning and innovative engineering designs, for overall greater sustainability (i.e. environmental, social and economic). At the heart of the City’s approach to innovation is its corporate philosophy for managing risk, learning by doing, and adapting quickly to new information and changing circumstances. “A corporate culture that is willing to accept and then manage risk with regards to infrastructure standards can open the door to creativity, innovation – and its rewards,” John Manson, City Engineer, told the Showcasing audience.

Langfrod showcasing - darlene tait (120p)Westhills is British Columbia’s largest LEED-Neighbourhood Development pilot project. “Westhills has design elements and community initiatives that create and nuture a strong sense of community; and a plan that incorporates leading-edge environmental technologies,” stated Darlene Tait. “The project integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism and green buildings into a system for neighbourhood design.”


Living Water Smart

Published in June 2008, Living Water Smart is the provincial government’s vision and plan to keep British Columbia’s water healthy and secure for the future. Through this plan, the Province commits to new actions and targets – and builds on existing efforts to protect and keep our water safe. 

Lynn Kriwoken, Director of the Water Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Langford showcasing - lynn kriwoken (80p)Environment, presented the Provinice’s perspective at the start of the Showcasing Innovation day. “The Showcasing Innovation Series adds depth to Living Water Smart by providing on-the-ground examples of the Province’s expectations look like in practice,” observed Lynn Kriwoken.

Langfrod showcasing - photo collage - inside


PowerPoint Presentations

A set of three presentations in the morning provided context for the day and set the scene for a walkabout through downtown Langford and then through several ‘green’ show homes on the Westhills site.


Langford showcasing - wisdom well (320p) 

  • Emilie Adin and John Manson: Langford’s Approach – A New Standard for Development in the West Shore. John Manson (CIty Engineer) and Emilie Adin (Deputy Planner) tag-teamed to elaborate on the Langford approach and the making of the Westhills Green Community. “Langford’s new Official Community Plan, developed within a unique sub-regional process is highly strategic rather than prescriptive,” explained Emilie Adin.


Langford showcasing - corporate philosophy (320p)

  • Darlene Tait: Westhills Neighbourhood: Creating a Community in the Fullest Sense. “The Westhills goal is to create socially supportive, healthy neighbourhoods and promote urban design excellence throughout the public realm,” explained Darlene Tait. In her presentation, she provided an overview of what characterizes and/or distinguishes the Westhills ‘green’ neighbourhood.


Langford showcasing - westhills 1st neighbourhood (320p)


Links to YouTube Videos

Clink on the images below to access and view video clips on YouTube of members of the Langford-Westhills presentation team telling their stories. These videos supplement the PowerPoint presentations and provide context and flavour.


Creating Our Future:

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In this first of two video clips, Eric Bonham explains what ‘Creating Our Future’ means. “CAVI provides a forum for bringing people and their wisdom together,” he stated. “CAVI is trying to get ahead of the game and face up to the fact of climate change.”

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In the second video clip, Eric Bonham and Jody Watson elaborate on the 2008 CAVI program. “The 2008 series is a progression. In 2009, we will be looking at the different ways to redevelop an entire watershed that flows through three municipalities.”


City of Langford:

Langford showcasing - emilie adin 1

In this first of three video clips, Emilie Adin elaborates on the importance of making intelligent design decisions. “Pay attention to the site,” she stated. “Consider the ecological and/or cultural values of a site, as well as the impact on neighbours.”

Langford showcasing - emilie adin 1

In this second video clip, Emilie Adin explains how Langford Council delegated authority to Staff to achieve the vision for community form and character. “Council has set the vision,” she explained. “We will waive some guidelines if the goals are being met.”

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In this third video in the set, Emilie Adin explains the precedent-setting nature of the Joint Community Plan for the cities of Langford and Colwood. “The process resulted in a much fuller dialogue,” she stated. “We learned from each other…it’s actually true!”



Downtown Walkabout:

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On the Bus:

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Langfrod showcasing - on the bus


Lunch at Westhills Presentation Centre:

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Westhills ‘Green’ Show Homes:

Langford showcasing - green homes

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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

Previous Water Bucket Stories:

Five stories about Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the City of Langford and the Capital Region Series as a whole are posted on the various communities-of-interest that comprise the Water Bucket Website:

 Courtenay seminar #1 - creating a legacy

 Posted October 2008