British Columbia’s Call to Action: Living Water Smart & Green Communities Initiative – an integrated package
Building Greener Communities
“Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan and the Green Communities Initiative must be viewed as an integrated package. Living Water Smart presents the vision, and the Green Communities Initiative provides enabling tools to achieve the vision. Together they represent a call to action,” Kim Stephens told participants at a workshop co-hosted by the Kamloops chapter of the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) and Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“A key message in Living Water Smart is that green development makes sense. On page 66, it states that new thinking about development leads to new benefits; and explains that these benefits include more green spaces, more water and fish in the streams, improved community vitality, reduced demand for water, and reduced expenditure on infrastructure.”
Kim Stephens is the Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, and an experienced engineer-planner with over 35 years experience related to infrastructure policy, master planning and project delivery.
“As the Action Plan Coordinator, I spoke on behalf of two Ministries – Environment, and Community & Rural Development – at the Kamloops Workshop.”
Link to YouTube Video: To learn more about the Living Water Smart and Green Communities context as provided by Kim Stephens at the Kamloops Workshop in September 2009, click on “The Province's call to action” (4:09).
Living Water Smart
Lynn Kriwoken, a Director in the Watershed Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Environment, is the Province's lead person for development and delivery of Living Water Smart, BC's Water Plan.
“The partnership umbrella provided by the Water Sustainability Action Plan has allowed the Province to leverage partnerships to greatly enhance the profile and resulting impact of Living Water Smart.”
“By choosing to live water smart, communities will be more prepared for climate change and their quality of life will be enhanced. If we can show how to get the water part right, then other parts are more likely to follow.”
Shared Responsibility: “A goal in implementing green infrastructure policies and practices is to achieve water sustainability outcomes, with specific objectives being: create liveable communities; and protect stream health,” adds Kim Stephens.
Glen Brown is an Executive Director in the Ministry of Community & Rural Development, and the Deputy Inspector of Municipalities.
“A mandate of the Ministry of Community & Rural Development is to foster partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration through the program elements that comprise the Green Communities Initiative. The goal is to build capacity that will result in sustainable, healthy and vibrant communities.”
“The Green Communities Initiative encompasses a number of plans and strategies that directly complement and/or support Living Water Smart outcomes.”
Influencing Behaviour: “Ultimately it is the Ministry's grant programs that provide the incentives that enable the Province to influence local government behaviour; and reward those who meet program objectives for doing business differently on-the-ground,” concludes Glen Brown.
Posted October 2009