The Natural City Vision: Three Lenses to Shape the Future of Urban Communities in British Columbia
Creating Our Future
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 third in the series was held in October at the University of Victoria. Councillor Vic Derman of the District of Saanich was the featured speaker. He presented his blueprint for action titled The Natural CIty.
The Natural City
In the Natural City, Vic Derman introduces three lenses to shape the future of a region, namely: Regional Growth Strategy; Climate Change: Quality of Life and Place.
“Collectively, the three lenses bring our future into focus,” writes Derman. He lays out a layered design process that demonstrates how conventional approaches to urban design could be modified to meet the goals of the Natural City.
Vic Derman defines a set of ten principles that provide a planning framework for The Natural City. One of these is a 'design with nature' way-of-thinking and acting.
Well-versed in a water-centric way-of-thinking, Vic Derman chaired the organizing committee and was the driving force behind the highly successful 2006 Water in the City Conference, held in Victoria. He is a Director of the Capital Regional District; and is Vice-Chair of the Capital Region Water Commission.
Links to YouTube Videos
To both provide a record of the day and capture the flavour of presentations at the University of Victoria event, video clips have been uploaded to YouTube. The explanation of The Natural City by Vic Derman has been divided into a set of five 10-minute clips.
For an edited version of Vic Derman describiing the three lenses, click either on the adjacent image or on this link to YouTube . “Let us set a goal of building the world's most attractive, most liveable, and above else, sustainable medium-size urban area,” stated Vic Derman.
To access each video in the set, click on Vic Derman publishes a “call to action” – implement an integrated approach to urban watershed restoration!
Roadmap for Living Water Smart
Released 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. An over-arching goal is to encourage land and water managers and users to do business differently.
Living Water Smart creates a water-centric vision that responds to this challenge: What we want British Columbia to look like in 50 years and beyond. Achieving the vision depends on the cumulative decisions that British Columbians make now and over time. To help the reader visualize the future, Living Water Smart includes a section titled Imagine.
The Natural City provides a roadmap for creating the desired future as envisioned in Living Water Smart. The design process outlined by Vic Derman does not differ greatly from traditional approaches with one exception. “The usual approach is to acquire land, decide what will be placed on it, then go about making it sustainable as possible,” writes Vic Derman. “The layered approach effectively turns this upside down. Rather than being 'fitted into the project' after key decisions have been made, elements such as sustainability, amenity and social equity become the drivers of development outcomes.”
About the 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.
For the complete story of what was accomplished at each of the three events, click on Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: Summary Report on the 2008 Capital Region Series.
Posted January 2009