Changes in the Built Environment in the Comox Valley: Understanding Where Northeast Comox Fits into the Big Picture




Changes in the Built Environment: An introduction to the context presentation by Tim Pringle

At Seminar #2, two short presentations in the afternoon will provide context for a town-hall sharing session on a real-world case study, namely Northeast Comox. The purpose of the town-hall session is to provide the Town of Comox with a feedback loop for application of the ‘green’ approach described in the morning.

First, Tim Pringle will explain where Northeast Comox fits into the Comox Valley big picture for real estate development. Then, Glenn Westendorp will elaborate on an approach to protect downstream environmental and agricultural values.

At the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, Tim Pringle introduced a way of thinking about land development called Settlement Change in Balance with Ecology.


Settlement and Ecology are Equal Values

“Settlement and ecology are equal values and they must be as much in balance as possible for wellbeing of human and natural systems,” states Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. He explains that:

  • Habitation and ecology are interdependent.
  • Although ecology can exist without habitation by man, habitation cannot exist without ecology.
  • Both systems are finite and subject to change, including growth, decline and decay – in other words, some end state.
  • Balance requires measurement.  Often the required metrics are not available.

“Beginning in 2007, CAVI started a conversation on Vancouver Island around achieving settlement in balance with ecology.”

Tim pringle (120p)“Settlement and ecology are both complex systems; and the nature of their complexities means there is no easy answer to achieving a balance that will ensure water for life and livelihoods. Nevertheless, it is in our best interests to learn about both sides of the balance….if we are to ensure that settlement change results in benefits exceeding liabilities at the site, community and regional scales.”


To Learn More:

Click on Tim Pringle explains what “Settlement in Balance with Ecology” means.

Click on What Drives Settlement on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. This article by Tim Pringle presents research findings which lead to the conclusion that real estate development in the mid-Island region is a common market: “One market, from Cobble Hill to Campbell River”. This suggests that communities can choose from among development proposals and control their destinies.


Hierarchy of ‘Green’ Vocabulary

Tim Pringle will introduce the following hierarchy of ‘green’ vocabulary in order to context for the new way of doing business:

  • Green Valuemeans land use strategies will accommodate settlement needs in practical ways while protecting the ecological resources upon which communities depend. 
  • Design with Natureis one approach to achieve Green Value, and is supportive of community goals that relate to building social capacity.
  • Green Infrastructureis the on-the-ground application of Design with Nature standards and practices. 
  • Water Sustainability is achieved through Green Infrastructure practices that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water.

This cascading vocabulary was unveiled at the Creating Our Future Workshop that was held in conjunction with the Gaining Ground Summit in Victoria in June 2007.


Application of Evaluation Tool

Tim Pringle will examine NE Comox through the lens of the Comparative Land Use Typologies & Matrix. He showcased this evaluation tool during the 2009 Series. It can be used to determine the acceptability of developer proposals for large-scale real estate development.

Tim Pringle will offer his observations about integration of ‘design with nature’ principles so that pending development projects keep the natural hydrology intact.

“At the conclusion of my presentation,” “my hope is that the audience will have an appreciation for what this equation means: Changes in NE Comox = Potential Assets and Liabilities (Infrastructure Deficit or Gain?),” states Tim Pringle.

 Posted May 2011