Genesis for Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Program in British Columbia

2005 Metro Vancouver Consultation Workshop
In May 2005, the Green Infrastructure Partnership conducted a Consultation Workshop in collaboration with the Regional Engineers Advisory Committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Hosted by the City of Surrey, workshop participants included senior managers in local government. Ten Metro Vancouver municipalities participated.
“Achieving higher levels of ecological systems  protection and overall environmental well-being is being successfully  pursued through changes to existing land use regulations, design guidelines and construction standards”,  observed Paul Ham, General Manager, Engineering, City of Surrey and the Chair of the Partnership, when announcing the May 2005 Workshop.
Titled How Can You Help Us Help You Help Us?, the workshop was organized in three parts:
  • HELP US through Roundtable Sharing: Who is Doing What and What has Worked (or Not)?
  • HELP YOU through an understanding of Leading and Managing Change.
  • HELP US through Roundtable Input: What should the proposed Green Infrastructure Communication Guides look like?
The workshop gave participants an opportunity to share their successes and discuss the challenges they faced and dealt with in achieving on the ground green infrastructure results in their communities. The atmosphere was upbeat with participants enthusiastically stressing that the number of success stories is growing. A key message was: To bring about changes in infrastructure practices and standards, it comes down to individuals innovating and taking great personal risk. Also, the consensus was to make outreach and practitioner education the #1 priority.
“The discussion underscored that there is critical mass for moving forward with an interactive and proactive approach to communication of the design with nature vision; and that this can be achieved through an array of educational tools that can inform change”, states Kim Stephens, speaking on behalf of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
The “Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program” was a consultation outcome. Launched in 2006, this program created opportunities to network and share “how to do it” experiences on the ground. The program was designed for engineering, planning, land development, operations, and environmental departments in Greater Vancouver municipalities. 

To Learn More: The work plan flowing from the consultation workshop is laid out in a comprehensive reference document titled The Green Infrastructure Partnership: Convening for Action in British Columbia (July 2005 Progress Report). This report has historical significance because it has shaped the approach to implementation of the “Convening for Action in British Columbia” initiative over the years. 

To download a summary report about the first series in the Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program, click here. To access the homepage established on the Water Bucket website for the series, click here.

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